A Replacement Bridge

Sometimes in transportation, our bridges cannot be saved (which can only be said after a Section 4(f) evaluation). Reasons often relate to safety or structural deficiency or loss of integrity, among other items. It’s a complex law and evaluation. Large bridges like the Champlain Bridge are rare projects; often bridge projects are much smaller.

Remember the Newfane Bridge?

The 1945 Newfane Bridge.

Recently I drove through Newfane and saw its replacement. It was a historic bridge located within a historic district. To the public this means that a bridge replacement (if determined to be the only feasible and prudent alternative) will be a context sensitive solution; i.e., compatible with its surroundings.

Looking east. May 2013.

Looking east. May 2013.

Looking to the west. May 2013.

Looking to the west. May 2013.

The approach rail.

The approach rail.

The railing, endwall, and approach rail.

The railing, endwall, and approach rail.

The endwall with guardrail inset.

The endwall with guardrail inset.

Side view of the bridge girder and railing.

Side view of the bridge girder and railing.

New bridges will not look like the old bridges due to engineering designs, traffic safety, modern vehicles, modern materials, etc. How do you, as a historic preservationist, or a community member feel about historic bridge replacement?

About these ads

4 thoughts on “A Replacement Bridge

  1. I always wish for sufficient maintenance to stave off the replacement question, of course. But sometimes even a maintained bridge becomes inadequate for the traffic it caries, usually because the lanes are narrow. I love to see old bridges “twinned” in that case, with a new but similarly styled bridge built next to it to handle traffic going the other way. But sometimes there’s just no alternative but to replace. I’m glad to see that the new Newfane bridge at least has some style.

    • Yes, I wish maintenance could save all of our bridges. Concrete is a difficult material in these cold, snowy climates. The issue with twinned bridges in small villages is often the fact that there is no room, and adding another bridge would remove historic resources and alter the context of the village. And then there’s the cost of maintaining two bridges, not just one. There are few NH/VT truss bridges that are twinned.

  2. The Jamaica bridge that washed out in the flood (in my mind’s eye) looked something like the Newfane Bridge. I pray that the new bridge will have integrity and eye appeal and that the village will feel whole again after the construction.

    Heidi

  3. Pingback: Bidding Adieu to 2013, Welcoming 2014 | Preservation in Pink

Have a thought to share?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s