If you didn’t catch the most recent Preservation Pop Quiz, read it here.
The answers from readers touched on key points. Here is the original photo.
As John guessed in the comments, this appeared to be an old road alignment and perhaps bridge. And Ellen & Jen suggested this area had been hit by the August flooding, and Jen presumed the younger trees suggested a recent change in the landscape. All around, everyone had great answers for reading the landscape.
And the answer? The picture above shows an old road alignment, which you can decipher from two key points. First, in the picture above (and see below for a more central view), the sloped bank that has a rise to it is a bridge abutment. If you look closely you can see how the road slightly curves in towards the old abutment. Second, the utility wires cut across the river rather than following the road. Often when bridges and roads are realigned, the wires remain in place, which can often be a helpful hint.
Here are a few photographs and aerials to aid in explanation.
This area was heavily affected by the flooding from Tropical Storm Irene in August 2011. Throughout Vermont you can see rivers with more cobbles and rocks than pre-flood and banks that have been ravaged by the strong currents and await restoration.
Where is this? The bridge abutment is part of the former alignment of VT Route 73 in Rochester, VT. Route 73 intersects with VT Route 100 further north. See these aerial maps below.
Old bridge abutments are everywhere – be on the lookout! Thanks for reading and playing. If you like reading about old road alignments, check out Jim Grey’s blog Down the Road, where he often writes about old alignments of the National Road.
p.s. Look for the next Sense of Place post this afternoon.