The HAER page for this bridge provides an extensive history on this bridge. Be sure to read it for more information on this bridge. This is one of the oldest metal bridges in the country, and is one of the earliest known examples of a Parker truss bridge.
The Aldrich Change Bridge is a bridge that has certainly been through a lot. Moved several times, washed off its abutments once, and finally restored here in a park setting, it is amazing that this bridge, one of only two bridges from the original Erie Canal, remains here today.
Why Aldrich "Change" Bridge? Because this bridge was built to change the side of the canal that the mule(s) towing the boats navigating the canal would need to be on. There were any number of reasons why the tow path might need to change the side of the canal it was on.
The placement of the bridge in the park was designed to showcase the way the bridge would have original functioned, although no water is actually present under the bridge, the setup of the approach to the bridge is authentic to the way the bridge would have been seen when in service on the canal. The drawing below adapted from the Historic American Engineering Record helps to illustrate the original configuration of the bridge.
This bridge is tagged with the following special condition(s): Cast Iron and Reused
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