Skip to main content

Mount Hope Bridge


Gracing a channel in the Mount Hope Bay between Bristol, Rhode Island and Portsmouth, Rhode Island, the Mount Hope Bridge is a beautiful suspension bridge that was opened on October 24, 1929, replacing ferries that ran between Bristol and Portsmouth.  The Mount Hope Bridge carries RI 114 and is a two lane, wire cable suspension bridge with its towers at 285 feet tall, the length of the main span at 1200 feet long and the roadway sitting 135 feet over the water. The total length of the bridge including all spans is 6130 feet. The Mount Hope Bridge was added to the National Register of Historic Places on January 31, 1976.

In 1920, Rhode Island legislator William Connery of Bristol requested that a committee be set up to investigate the construction of a bridge between Portsmouth and Bristol. The reason behind the request was that delegates from Aquidneck Island were often times late to their meetings in Providence during the winter due to ferries not being able to cross frozen water. It was decided at that point in time that it was not economical to build a bridge, but because of the increased use of automobiles and a need to connect two of the most populated cities in the state, the idea was later brought up again. This time, the legislators came up with an idea to sell the rights to build the bridge to a private entity.

Originally designed and owned by the New Hope Bridge Company, the construction of the Mount Hope Bridge began on December 1, 1927. The New Hope Bridge Company ran into difficulties just four months before it was to open to traffic as serious structural problems were discovered. Experimental heat treated steel for the cables had been used, which caused breaks in the cables and resulted in the span having to be disassembled and reassembled. The total cost of the bridge's construction was $4.2 million. But by 1931, the Mount Hope Bridge Company went bankrupt, and local brewery owner Rudolf F. Haffenreffer, purchased the bridge in receivership. In 1954, the Mount Hope Bridge was purchased by Rhode Island under the name of the Mount Hope Bridge Authority, now known as the Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority. The bridge was tolled for many years, with the initial toll rate of 60 cents for crossing one way in 1929. By the time tolls were removed from the bridge in 1998, the toll was 30 cents.

The Mount Hope Bridge is also graceful, having been awarded the 1929 Artistic Bridge Award of the American Institute of Steel Construction as the most beautiful, long-span bridge built that during year. The design towers features a cross braced design with a Gothic arch above the roadway and was painted green, introducing the use of color in bridge design, as bridges were primarily painted black or gray at the time. Today, the Mount Hope Bridge fits in beautifully with its natural surroundings, and you may be able to see recreational boats traveling under or around the bridge. There is also a lighthouse called the Bristol Ferry Lighthouse that is near the Mount Hope Bridge. The lighthouse was constructed in 1855, but was retired once the bridge's lighting made the lighthouse redundant. The Bristol Ferry Lighthouse is near the grounds of Roger Williams University and you can visit it today.






How to Get There:

Sources and Links:
Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority - History
Portsmouth Patch - Travel Back in Time: Mt. Hope Bridge

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Ghost Town Tuesday; Ben Hur Road/Road 613 to Raymond

While returning from the Mariposa Area this month I decided that I wanted to visit the quasi-ghost town of Raymond and take a "off the beaten path" roadway to get there.  I found just what I was looking for in Ben Hur Road in Mariposa County which reaches Raymond as Road 613 in Madera County.


Ben Hur Road begins on the outskirts of Mariposa near Mormon Bar at CA 49.  From CA 49 the route to Raymond is signed as being 23 miles to the south.


Interestingly Ben Hur Road isn't named after the famous 1959 movie but rather a ghost town along the roadway.  The community of Ben Hur has records showing it had a Post Office by said name in 1890 which obviously implies the community was named after the 1880 novel.  Unlike most roads of this kind the story of Ben Hur Road has been told previously by several newspapers in the 20th Century.

Oakland Tribune (September 1950) Trip to Mariposa via Ben Hur Road

Rock Fence is label of history on Quick Rance (Fresno Bee 1954)

The Oakland Tribu…

"Governor Hunt Cuts Ribbon on Doomsday" - The drawnout legal battle to build the I-95 Fayetteville Bypass

It is Monday, December 15, 1980.  North Carolina Governor Jim Hunt and many other dignitaries take part in a ribbon cutting ceremony opening a new 17 mile stretch of Interstate 95 in Cumberland County.  The new road bypasses Fayetteville to the east and completes Interstate 95 in North Carolina - closing a significant gap in what many consider the backbone highway of the East Coast.  The new road moved Interstate traffic from an at-grade, four lane US 301 lined with numerous motels and restaurants onto a fully controlled and traffic light-free limited access freeway. 

Meanwhile at a Quality Inn along US 301 in Fayetteville, a billboard read "Governor Hunt Cuts Ribbon on Doomsday."(1)

The ribbon cutting put an end to over a decade long heated battle over the routing of Interstate 95 around Fayetteville.  One that made it all the way to the steps of the United States Supreme Court.



Interstate 95 in North Carolina History:

The 181 mile Interstate 95 has a unique story in Nort…

California State Route 1 from Interstate 10 in Santa Monica to San Luis Obispo

A recent trip to California State Route 1 in Malibu spurred my interest in revisiting a trip I did in 2014 which included following the highway from Interstate 10 in Santa Monica northward to California State Route 68 in Monterey.  Since I have covered the segment of CA 1 through Big Sur northward to Monterey County so many times I thought it was time to tell the tale of the rest of the highway southward.


This article specifically will cover two segments of CA 1:

-  What was formerly the first CA 3 and later US 101A from San Juan Capistrano north to Oxnard.
-  CA 1 between Oxnard northward to San Luis Obispo.

As stated above the route of CA 1 has been extensively covered on Gribblenation previously.  The previous articles pertaining to CA 1 can be found below.  Suffice to say that CA 1 is highly intertwined with the history of US 101 and has a ton of roadside lore.

California State Route 1/Big Sur Slide Special Part 3; Ragged Point Closure south to US 101 in San Luis Obispo

California …