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Atwells Avenue Bridge

Atwells Avenue Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: August 28, 2019

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Atwells Avenue Over Woonasquatucket River
Providence: Providence County, Rhode Island: United States
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1875 By Builder/Contractor: Delaware Bridge Company of New York, New York

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Main Span Length
54 Feet (16.5 Meters)
Structure Length
54 Feet (16.5 Meters)
Roadway Width
39 Feet (11.89 Meters)
1 Main Span(s)
NBI Number
Not Applicable

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)
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Bridge Documentation

Although it no longer bears live loads, this unique truss bridge is the oldest iron bridge in the state and one of the oldest rivet connected truss bridges in North America. It features ornamental cast iron end posts. The unusually arranged bridge consists of four truss lines, two on each side of the roadway. Each pair of trusses is separated a bit, forming the sidewalks. As originally built, a fifth truss line existed in the center of the roadway, which was later removed and replaced with a girder. More recently, in 2015, a new load-bearing bridge was built and the trusses were placed on as decorations. While not an optimal preservation solution, it did save the historically significant trusses from demolition.

View Historic Bridge Inventory Sheet For This Bridge

Note: The company that built this bridge became part of the Union Bridge Company which was much more famous and prolific and built many famous bridges. The following appeared in Engineering News and American Contract Journal in 1884:

Charles Kellogg and Charles S. Maurice, of Athens, Pa.; George S. Field and Edmund Hayes, formerly of the Central Bridge Co., of Buffalo, N. Y.; Charles Macdonald, late of Delaware Bridge Co., New York City, and Thomas C. Clarke, late of Clarke, Reeves & Co., of Phoenixville, Pa., entered on March 1, 1884, into a general partnership under the name of the Union Bridge Company, with office in New York City. Their works will be at Athens, Pa. and at Buffalo, N. Y. This partnership consolidates into one company, the Kellogg and Maurice Works of Athens, the Central Co. of Buffalo, and the Delaware Bridge Co. of New York, and deprives the Phoenixville Company of the name which has so long headed that firm.


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