Pop Quiz Answer

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.

What can you decipher from this photograph? Click and zoom for additional clarity (this is a large file).

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.

Looking at the old bridge abutment.

Looking west.

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.

Standing above the river, you can see the path of the old road - based on the utility wires, not the grassy path in this picture.

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.

Route 73 (Brandon Mountain Road) would have turned in the center of this image, and connect to what is now State Garage Road.

The current alignment of VT Route 73 and Route 100.

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. 

2 thoughts on “Pop Quiz Answer

  1. Jim says:

    Thanks for the shout out! When you posted this, I didn’t have time to play the game. I regret it now, because this would have been fun!

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