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Steel Arch

Only a handful of steel arch bridges were built in Vermont, and most of them spanned the Connecticut River, providing monumental crossings between Vermont and New Hampshire. The steel-arch bridge peaked technologically around 1900 and gained popularity for significant, large-scale spans. Steel-arch bridges were constructed as either through arches or deck arches. Arches were erected above the deck in through arch construction, allowing the traveler to pass through the arch. Arches were placed below the deck in deck arch construction. Vermont's notable steel-arch bridges are described below.

Bellow's Falls-Walpole Bridge

A 540-foot steel arch bridge was constructed over the Connecticut River between Bellow's Falls, Vermont, and Walpole, New Hampshire, in 1905. At the time of its construction, it was the longest through-arch bridge in the country. The monumental bridge was replaced in the 1982.

Bellow's Falls-Walpole

Bellow's Falls-Walpole Bridge: Image courtesy of Robert McCullough, Crossings: A History of Vermont Bridges, 2005

Bellow's Falls-Walpole

Bellow's Falls-Walpole Bridge: Image courtesy of Robert McCullough

Gulf Bridge at Quechee Gorge

The oldest surviving steel-arch bridge spans a scenic location over the Ottauquechee River at Quechee Gorge in Hartford, Vermont. Constructed in 1911 for the Woodstock Railroad, this deck arch bridge spans 285 feet high above the gorge.

Gulf Bridge at Quechee Gorge

Gulf Bridge at Quechee Gorge: Image courtesy of Robert McCullough

Proctor Bridge

Crossing railroad tracks on Main Street in the town of Proctor is a small, 34-foot deck arch bridge. Notable to this 1920 bridge are the decorative railings and street lamps that reflect City Beautiful planning. The bridge survives was widened in 1939.

Proctor Bridge

Proctor Bridge: Image courtesy of Robert McCullough

Between 1928 and 1938, four more steel-arch bridges were erected over the Connecticut River, most of which received awards from the American Institute of Steel Construction.

Wells River-Woodsville Bridge

The first, built after the 1927 flood, spanned 284 feet between Wells River, Vermont, and Woodsville, New Hampshire. This bridge survives today as the oldest steel-arch crossing over the Connecticut River.

Wells River-Woodsville Bridge

Wells River-Woodsville Bridge: Image courtesy of Robert McCullough

Beecher Falls-Stewartstown Bridge

The second bridge, a small, deck arch, connected the village of Beecher Falls, Vermont, with Stewartstown, New Hampshire, in 1930.

Brattleboro-Chesterfield Bridge

The third bridge, spanning 425 feet, was constructed in 1937, connecting Brattleboro, Vermont, and Chesterfield, New Hampshire.

Brattleboro-Chesterfield Bridge

Brattleboro-Chesterfield Bridge: Image courtesy of Robert McCullough

Samuel Morey Memorial Bridge

The fourth bridge, joining Fairlee, Vermont, and Orford, New Hampshire, was completed in 1938, spanning 433 feet.

Samuel Morey Memorial Bridge

Samuel Morey Memorial Bridge: Image courtesy of Robert McCullough

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