Skip to main content

East Haddam Bridge - East Haddam, CT

Nestled in the heart of the lower Connecticut River Valley of southern Connecticut is this charming & historic swing truss bridge located in the equally charming village of East Haddam. Opened in 1913, this bridge replaced a long-running ferry service in the area that had been in service since 1694. (Interestingly, there remain two active ferries on the lower Connecticut River nearby that also date back to colonial times – the Rocky Hill-Glastonbury and Chester-Hadlyme Ferries of 1655 and 1769, respectively.) It continues to serve the region as part of CT Route 82 (a major east-west local road in this part of the state) and takes on added importance since it’s the only fixed bridge crossing of the river between Middletown and Old Saybrook (a distance of about 30 river miles).


Above: The ornate swing span, up close & personal

From end to end, this bridge is 890 ft long and is comprised of three prominent structural elements: an underdeck Warren truss span at the west shore, a central Pennsylvania-style through truss span, and the highlight swing truss span at its east end. The swing span itself is about 460 ft in length and was among the largest such spans in the world when built; it remains among the largest surviving examples of this kind of construction and is therefore a historically significant structure more than a century after its creation.


Above: Assorted aerial views of the bridge and it's immediate surrounding area. Always fly safe!

Many moveable bridges have draw or bascule spans that enable the bridge’s main span halves to pivot up & down to create an opening for taller boats to navigate through; in the case of a swing bridge, the moveable span rotates or turns laterally about a center turntable pier, thus creating multiple channels for boats to pass through, one on each side of the turntable. The ornate & elegant design of the swing span at this location makes for an extremely unique and memorable structure, one worthy of being the centerpiece of a historic river town like East Haddam.



Above: Assorted ground level views of the bridge, including unique signage and a dedication plaque

How to Get There:

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Former California State Route 1 over Old Pedro Mountain Road

California State Route 1 in western San Mateo County traverses the Montara Mountain spur of the Santa Cruz Mountains.  In modern times California State Route 1 passes through Montara Mountain via the Tom Lantos Tunnels and the highway is traditionally associated with Devils Slide.  Although Devils Slide carries an infamous legacy due it being prone landslides it pales in comparison to the alignment California State Route 1 carried prior to November 1937 over Old Pedro Mountain Road.   Old Pedro Mountain Road opened to traffic in 1915 and is considered one of the first major asphalted highways in California.  Old Pedro Mountain Road clambers over a grade from Montara towards Pacifica via the 922 foot high Saddle Pass.  Pictured above an overlook of Old Pedro Mountain Road facing southward towards Montara as it appears today.  Pictured below it the same view during June 1937 when it was part of the original alignment of California State Route 1.  Today Old Pedro Mountain sits abandoned a

California State Route 232

This past month I drove the entirety of California State Route 232 in Ventura County. CA 232 is an approximately 4 miles State Highway aligned on Vineland Avenye which begins near Saticoy at CA 118 and traverses southwest to US Route 101 in Oxnard.  The alignment of CA 232 was first adopted into the State Highway System in 1933 as Legislative Route Number 154 according to CAhighways.org. CAhighways.org on LRN 154 As originally defined LRN 154 was aligned from LRN 9 (future CA 118) southwest to LRN 2/US 101 in El Rio.  This configuration of LRN 154 between CA 118/LRN 9 and US 101/LRN 2 can be seen on the 1935 California Division of Highways Map of Ventura County. 1935 Ventura County Highway Map According to CAhighways.org the route of LRN 154 was extended west from US 101/LRN 2 to US 101A/LRN 60 in 1951.  Unfortunately State Highway Maps do not show this extension due to it being extremely small. During the 1964 State Highway Renumbering LRN 154 was assigned CA 232.  Of n

Former US Route 101 and California State Route 1 in San Luis Obispo

Originally US Route 101 upon descending Cuesta Pass southbound entered the City of San Luis Obispo via Monterey Street.  From Monterey Street US Route 101 utilized Santa Rosa Street and Higuera Street southbound through downtown San Luis Obispo.  Upon departing downtown San Luis Obispo US Route 101 would have stayed on Higuera Street southward towards Pismo Beach and Arroyo Grande.  Notably; beginning in 1934 US Route 101 picked up California State Route 1 at the intersection of Monterey Street/Santa Rosa Street where the two would multiplex to Pismo Beach.  Pictured below is the 1 935 Division of Highways Map of San Luis Obispo County depicting the original alignments of US Route 101 and California State Route 1 in the City of San Luis Obispo.   Part 1; the history of US Route 1 and California State Route 1 in San Luis Obispo San Luis Obispo lies at the bottom of the Cuesta Pass (also known as the Cuesta Grade) which has made it favored corridor of travel for centuries.  Cuesta Pass