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Wire Bridge - New Portland, Maine

Deep in the woods of Maine, there is a gem of a bridge. In the small town of New Portland, the Wire Bridge spans over the Carrabassett River and is a delight to see in person. The Wire Bridge is unique among bridges, being the only survivor of four such bridges built in Maine in the 1800's and most likely the only such bridge of its kind still standing in the United States. Available records indicate the building of the Wire Bridge had began in 1864 and construction was completed in 1866. Two men, David Elder and Captain Charles B. Clark, were largely responsible for the bridge's design and construction.

The Wire Bridge's towers are constructed of timber framing and covered with boards protected by cedar shingles. The wooden towers and wire suspension are unique among suspension bridges in the U.S., making the bridge quite unique. In 1959, the legislature of the State of Maine enacted legislation for the preservation of this bridge, and as a result, the bridge was renovated in 1961. When the bridge was renovated, the tower bases were capped with concrete, the towers were rebuilt, steel suspender rods were replaced by steel cables, and a new timber deck was installed. However, the tower framing timbers and main support cables are still the original material to the bridge. The span between the towers is 198 feet in length.

Today, you can quietly enjoy the bridge, explore the surroundings, and even have a picnic along the river. You can drive over the bridge, but there is a weight limit of 3 tons, a height clearance of 12 foot, 4 inches and a maximum width of 9 feet, 9 inches.









How to Get There:


Sources and Links:
MaineDOT - Wire Bridge, New Portland, Maine
New Portland, Maine - History
Atlas Obscura - Wire Bridge
See / Swim - Wire Bridge
Bridgehunter.com - New Portland Wire Bridge

Crossposted to: https://travel-newengland.blogspot.com/2020/01/wire-bridge-maine.html

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