Gold Star Bridge

The Gold Star Memorial Bridge is a pair of steel truss bridges that carries both Interstate 95 and U.S. Route 1 across the Thames River between New London, Connecticut, USA and Groton, Connecticut. The bridge is the largest structure in the state with over 1,000,000 sq ft (93,000 m2). of deck area and the longest bridge in the state at 6,000 feet (1,800 m). Its 11 highway lanes accommodate an average daily traffic of 117,000 vehicles. Local media outlets and residents refer to the bridge as "The Goldstar".

History

The structure was completed in 1943 as a single span. It was part of Southeastern Connecticut's "free span" highway bypass, a short 3.6-mile (5.8 km) long four-lane stretch connecting Waterford, Connecticut to Groton, Connecticut. As part of the new highway, the bridge's purpose was to remove automobiles from congested route 1 and the strained Thames River Bridge which at the time allowed rail and auto traffic. In 1958, the bypass was connected to the I-395/I-95 intersection in East Lyme, Connecticut.

On December 12, 1964 after completion of the 13-mile (21 km) Route 184 bypass to the Rhode Island border, the bridge and both bypasses were officially part of Interstate 95. During this year the bridge was designated as the "Gold Star Memorial Bridge" in honor of those members of the Armed Forces of the United States from Groton, New London, and Waterford who lost their lives during World War I, World War II, and the Korean War.

The bridge's second span was completed in 1973.

Design

The design is a pair of steel truss bridges, each composed of eleven spans.

The posted traffic speed limit is 55 miles per hour.

The bridge's southbound span has a sidewalk/bike path accessible from Bridge St and Riverview Ave on the Groton side and Williams Street on the New London side.

Media

2 photos

Building Activity

  • OpenBuildings
    OpenBuildings added a digital reference
    about 5 years ago via OpenBuildings.com