Skip to main content

Hadley Bow Bridge

Crossing over the Sacandaga River before meeting the iconic Hudson River is the Hadley Bow Bridge in Hadley, New York. Also known as the Hadley Parabolic Bridge or Stewart's Bridge, this bridge located in the southern Adirondacks is the only half deck lenticular truss bridge remaining in the United States of America, out of the two or three ever built and was constructed in 1885 by the Berlin Iron Bridge Company of East Berlin, Connecticut.

The bridge is made of wrought iron and is connected by pins. Aside from its main span, which is unique in its own right, the approach span is noteworthy for the 3 panel design, which makes it look much more like an elliptical truss. The bridge's two spans have an overall length of 180 feet. The short span is 44 feet, 7 1/4 inches and the long span 136 feet and supports a roadway that is a little more than 17 feet in width and 45 feet above the river.

The term parabolic was used in the promotional literature of the bridge's manufacturer, which refers to the mathematical curve approximated by the chords or bows of the truss design. While the bows of the main span of the bridge are more apparent because of their size and length, the trusses of each span are of a parabolic style. Other names for this distinctive type of trust include the lenticular truss, pumpkin seed and fish belly truss. Today, the trusses themselves are only for decoration. However, the truss lines themselves maintain a level of historic integrity and convey the same appearance and arrangement as was in the original construction in 1885, allowing the experience of driving over the bridge to remain.



On the site of the Hadley Bow Bridge once stood a covered bridge that was built in 1813, carrying traffic over the Sacandaga River between the towns of Hadley and Jessup's Landing (now known as Corinth), until the old covered bridge was destroyed by fire in 1885. Later that year, Hadley authorized the building of an iron bridge, at the site of the old Sacandaga Bridge. The Hadley Bow Bridge is that bridge, and it uses the foundation of the original covered bridge.

The Hadley Bow Bridge was listed on the National Historic Register of Historic Places on March 25, 1977. But by November 1983, the bridge was closed to all vehicular and pedestrian traffic due to deteriorating conditions. This had in effect divided Hadley in half. By 2000, the bridge had further deteriorated further and was scheduled to be demolished, and Saratoga County planned to dismantle the bridge. However, due to the request of several historical preservation groups and overall public support instead led to plans to rehabilitate the bridge. The bridge was renovated in 2005 and with much fanfare, the bridge reopened to the public, both for vehicles and pedestrians on August 25, 2006.

Hadley Bow Bridge historical marker.

Railroad bridge crossing the Sacandaga River adjacent to the Hadley Bow Bridge

Looking at the Sacandaga River as it meets the Hudson River, with the meeting point being just around where the rapids end.
Hadley Bow Bridge in winter.

The original 1813 bridge abutments that the current Hadley Bow Bridge sits on top of.


How to Get There:

Sources and Links:
Ryan Biggs Clark Davis - Hadley "Bow" Bridge over the Sacandaga River
Andy Arthur.org - Hadley Parabolic Bridge
Bridgehunter.com - Hadley Bow Bridge
Historic Bridges - Hadley Bow Bridge
Glens Falls Post-Star - The country's only bow-string bridge sits in Hadley (March 3, 2008)
New York State Department of Transportation - The History and Rehabilitation of the Historic Hadley Bow Bridge (PDF)

Crossposted from my blog post at https://unlockingnewyork.blogspot.com/2019/02/hadley-bow-bridge.html

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Former California State Route 24 through the Kennedy Tunnel and Old Tunnel Road

 Near the eastern City Limit of Oakland high in the Berkeley Hills one can be find the ruins of the Kennedy Tunnel at the intersection of Old Tunnel Road and Skyline Boulevard.  The Kennedy Tunnel opened in 1903 and was the first semi-modern automotive corridor which crossed the Alameda County-Contra Costa County Line.  The Kennedy Tunnel even saw service briefly as part of California State Route 24 before the first two bores of the Caldecott Tunnel opened in 1937.   Part 1; the history of the Kennedy Tunnel The genesis point for California State Route 24 ("CA 24") being extended into the San Francisco Bay Area begins a couple years before the Sign State Routes were announced when Legislative Route Number 75 ("LRN 75") was added by 1931 Legislative Chapter 82.  According to cahighways.org the original definition of LRN 75 was as simply "Walnut Creek to Oakland."  The instigator for the adoption of LRN 75 was construct a replacement route for the Ken

The original alignment of California State Route 1 in San Francisco

In 2019 the Gribblenation Blog Series covered the history of the Hyde Street Pier and the original surface alignment of US Route 101 in San Francisco.  Given the Golden Gate Bridge opened to traffic in May of 1937 coupled with the fact that the Sign State Routes had been announced in August of 1934 there were still some open questions regarding the original highway alignments in San Francisco.  Namely the question of this blog is; where was California State Route 1 prior to the completion of the Golden Gate Bridge?  Thanks the to the discovery of a 1936 Shell Highway Map of San Francisco and the California Highways & Public Works the answer can be conveyed clearly.     Part 1; the history of early California State Route 1 in San Francisco The genesis point for California State Route 1 ("CA 1") in San Francisco dates to 1933.  1933 was significant due to the State Legislature allowing the Division of Highways to assume maintenance of highways in Cities for the first time. 

Santa Clara County Route G8 and the New Almaden Quicksilver Mine

Santa Clara County Route G8 is a 29.38 mile County Sign Route which is part of the San Francisco Bay Area transportation corridor.  Santa Clara County Route G8 begins at California State Route 152 near the outskirts of Gilroy and terminates at former US Route 101 at 1st Street/Monterey Road near downtown San Jose.  Santa Clara County Route G8 incorporates the notable Almaden Expressway and is historically tied to the New Almaden Quicksilver Mine.   (Santa Clara County Route G8 map image courtesy CAhighways.org) Part 1; the history of Santa Clara County Route G8, the Almaden Road corridor and New Almaden Mine The present corridor of Santa Clara County Route G8 ("G8") began to take shape with the emergence of the Almaden Expressway.  According to the October 1960 California Highways & Public Works Unit 1 of the Almaden Expressway opened in November of 1959 between Alma Avenue near downtown San Jose south to the Guadalupe River as part of a Federal Highway Aid Secondary pro