Saturday, February 4, 2012

Washington Bridge, Stratford-Milford, CT

Washington Bridge
I was thinking this weekend I wouldn't go bridge hunting, but come Thursday I was already sketching out plans to start photographing some of the many bridges in Fairfield County. Fairfield County is pretty much New York City's sixth borough, and as such is the perfect run-up to my Manhattan trip sometime this spring.

I started the morning heading down Route 15 to Bridgeport. Route 15 had a lot of amazing bridges crossing it, but I had no place to stop so they went unphotographed. Next time, I'll set up something so I can set my phone on the dash and it can automatically snap pictures and get these bridges uploaded.

Bridgeport was supposed to be a gimme; its name is Bridgeport! And there were bridges, and I'll eventually post them here, but they weren't something to get really excited about. I took my pictures and headed to Stratford to see the end of the Housatonic River as it empties into Long Island Sound. I was rewarded with an absolutely incredible bridge, the Washington Bridge, a six span open spandrel arch bridge with a two leaf bascule -- drawbridge -- in the middle.

I've been up in the north part of the state, where the Housatonic flows fast and free beneath the West Cornwall Covered Bridge and to a lot of the bridges that cross it along the way. Dammed three times, it is slow and wide here.

The bridge is easy to get to; take exit 44 off Route 95 and head straight along Ferry Boulevard to the shopping center at the end. There's a private marina there, and a small park with a public wharf that goes aways into the river. You can cross beneath the bridge and find wooden paths down to some public piers which give a great view of the bridge (such as the one that heads this post). The bridge has sidewalks crossing it on both sides; the south side gives grand views of the river delta, the north side looks down on the marina and over to the Route 95 river crossing and railroad bridge. The railroad bridge might be a swing bridge, but I think it might be a lift bridge. It was hard to tell from where I was, but the giant towers over it suggest to me that it is a lift bridge.

I-95 river crossing

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