This concrete arch bridge has been altered extensively, and one of these alterations has also attracted a colony of bats. In fact, the bridge doesn't even function as an arch anymore. The bridge was widened first in 1956. In 1980, the bridge was even more extensively reconstructed. The deck and the top portion of the columns were cut off and a new prestressed concrete box beam superstructrure was installed on top. Combined with alterations to the piers, the box beam structure is much wider than the concrete arch bridge. As such, hidden under the box beams, the original concrete arch and its columns are still visible, but it is decorative only. A gap is visible betwen the top of the columns and the box beams indicating that the arch plays no structural role whatsoever. This bridge is thus not the best example of historic bridge preservation, although what was done here was still better than full demolition and replacement.
The new prestressed concrete structure is composed of adjacent box beams. Although adjacent, there is an unusual gap between each box beam. These gaps turned out to be exactly the type of habitat that bats look for. Today, these gaps are home to a ton of bats. As a result, the bridge has become a significant local attraction on account of the bats, and is often known as the Bat Bridge.
Above: Historical photo showing bridge as originally built.
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