New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad (Turner Falls Branch) bridge

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New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad (Turner Falls Branch) bridge

The Canalside Rail Trail Bridge (also known as the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad (Turners Falls Branch) Bridge) is a former New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad (Turner Falls Branch) rail bridge across the Connecticut River between Deerfield and Montague, Massachusetts. The bridge (Massachusetts numbers: D06033/M28019) is on the Massachusetts Historic Bridge Inventory as a "Historic Metal Truss Bridge",A currently the sixth oldest metal truss bridge on the state-wide historic registry. The Canalside Rail Trail, completed in Spring 2008, incorporates this bridge.B

History and construction of the bridge

Originally built in 1880 by Keystone Bridge Co., Pittsburgh, PA, two of its three spans were partly washed away in the 1936 flood. Subsequently, those spans were rebuilt and replaced in 1936 by the Phoenix Bridge Company, Phoenixville, PA. The remaining span of the original bridge is the oldest surviving span across the Connecticut River. The older span is a Whipple truss design. The newer spans use a modified Warren truss design (vertical truss members are added to the traditional form of a Warren truss).

The bridge was refurbished in 2006 to be part of the new Canalside Rail Trail. However, though the bridge can now be used, the refurbishing is not complete as of July 2007. The western pier has some stones out of place and some stones fallen off. There is currently work going on to fix this issue.

Image gallery
  • Looking west along the length of the bridge from the eastern end, you can see the newly constructed wooden bridge deck and the safety railings.

  • This image shows the plate bolted to the western end of the first of the "new" spans put up in 1936.

  • This image shows the plate put up by the Keystone Bridge Company on the one span of the bridge which is circa 1880.

  • This image shows the bridge piers, including some of the lesser damage sustained by the western pier.

  • Here is the temporary road being built so that repairs can be made to the western pier.

  • Underside of the rail bridge, showing the main deck supports

  • The oldest span of the three, from the north