Thursday, May 5, 2011

Railroad/Road Bridge in Maine

I just came across this apparently unique bridge in the HABS/HAER archives.  The Free-Black bridge spans the Androscoggin River between Brunswick and Topsham, Maine.  It carries a branch of the Maine Central on top, and a single lane road bridge suspended below.

Free-Black Bridge, Brunswick-Topsham, Maine.
Photo by Jet Lowe for HABS/HAER.

The following picture gives you a better idea of how the roadway is suspended from the steel truss railway bridge.

Free-Black Bridge Road Deck, Brunswick-Topsham, Maine.
Photo by Jet Lowe for HABS/HAER.

This bridge was built in 1909, and I was afraid it might have been demolished since Jet Lowe took these pictures in 1994, but a check of Bing Maps shows that it is still there.

Free-Black Bridge, Brunswick-Topsham, Maine.
From Bing Maps
According to an article in The Forecaster,
After a driver struck a support beam on the one-lane bridge in early April, the DOT closed the bridge and engineers discovered the pressure-treated wooden guard rails were rotting.
The bridge is now closed to traffic, but it's still there, so I'll have to go see it.