Skip to main content

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

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 …