Skip to main content

Travel New England: Bardwell's Ferry Bridge


In October 2006, I took a roadtrip through Western Massachusetts.  On my way back home towards Albany, I had stopped at a covered bridge near Conway to take some photos and started up a conversation with an artist that was doing a painting of a church across the street.  I told him about my trip and what I had seen that day.  The gentleman then told me of a historic bridge over the Deerfield River that was nearby.  He told me that I needed to take a few backroads but it was worth the drive.


He was correct.  At the bottom of a quiet country road was the Bardwell's Ferry Bridge.  A historic lenticular truss bridge that was built in 1882 and replaced a wooden bridge that once crossed here.  The 230 foot long pin connected bridge was a beautiful sight mixed in with all the colors of fall.  


The largest span of the bridge is just under 193 feet and from there are magnificent views of the Deerfield River and of a Springfield Terminal rail bridge.


The bridge was built the Corrugated Metal Company which was a predecessor of the Berlin Iron Company.  The bridge is one of the few remaining bridges of this style built by the East Berlin, Connecticut company.  The bridge was rehabilitated in 1995 and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2000.

Bardwell's Ferry is also a popular launch spot for kayakers and other paddle boats.  This unplanned detour is one of my fondest memories of my time living in the Northeast.  I easily could have stayed here for hours enjoying the soothing sounds of the Deerfield River, the smells of the leaves, and just the overall peaceful setting.  I hope to get back here again someday.

All photos taken by post author - October 2006.

Further Reading:

How To Get There:

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Vague Original Southern Terminus of US Route 91 in the Californian Mojave Desert

One of the more intriguing mysteries of the early US Route System in California is where the original south terminus of US Route 91 was intended to be located in the Mojave Desert.  This blog is a little different than my usual behind the wheel fare and explores why US Route 91 ultimately ended at US Route 66 in Daggett instead of Bannock. What ultimately became the US Route System was first discussed during the American Association of State Highway Officials ("AASHO") during their annual 1924 meeting.  Ultimately the AASHO recommended to the Department of Agriculture to work with the States to develop a system of Interstate Highways to replace the many Auto Trails in use.  The Joint Board on Interstate Highways was ultimately commissioned by the Department of Agriculture and it's branch agency the Bureau of Public Roads in March of 1925.  The Joint Board on Interstate Highways first met in April of 1925 and decided on the new interstate road network would be known a

Where the hell is Hill Valley? (US Route 8 south/US Route 395 east)

Recently I made a visit to Universal Studios near Los Angeles.  While on the back lot tour I came across a piece of infamous movie-borne fictional highway infamy; the location of town square of Hill Valley, California on US Route 8/US Route 395. The above photo is part of the intro scene to the first Back-to-the-Future movie which was set in 1985. To anyone who follows roadways the signage error of US 8 meeting US 395 in California is an immediately notable error.  For one; US 8 doesn't even exist anywhere near California with present alignment being signed as an east/west highway between Norway, Michigan and Forest Lake, Minnesota.  To make matters worse US 8 is signed as a southbound route and US 395 (a north/south highway) is signed as an eastbound route.  At minimum the cut-out US 8 and US 395 shields somewhat resemble what Caltrans used in the 1980s. Assuming Hill Valley is located on what would have been US 395 by 1985 what locales would be a viable real world analog? 

Legend of the Ridge Route; a history of crossing the mountains between the Los Angeles Basin and San Joaquin Valley from wagon trails to Interstates

Over the past two decades I've crossed the Interstate 5 corridor from Los Angeles north over the Sierra Pelona Mountains and Tehachapi Range to San Joaquin Valley what seems to be an immeasurable number of times.  While Interstate 5 from Castaic Junction to Grapevine via Tejon Pass today is known to most as "The Grapevine" it occupies a corridor which has been traversed by numerous historic highways.  The most notable of these highways is known as the "Ridge Route."  This article is dedicated to the Ridge Route and the various highways that preceded it.  The Ridge Route is a 44 mile section of highway which was completed in 1915.  The Ridge Route originally stretched from Castaic Junction north over Liebre Summit and Tejon Pass to the tiny community of Grapevine.  In spite of a roadway that once utilized nearly 700 curves the Ridge Route is generally considered far ahead of it's time and one of the first modern highways constructed for automotive use.