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

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

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.