Saturday, March 31, 2012

South Maple Street Bridge, Enfield, CT

South Maple Street Bridge
This isn't the first time I missed a historical bridge and had to make do with the replacement, but in this case, I'm pretty happy about it. The previous South Maple Street Bridge was a low, pony truss bridge, one of many at this site. Its replacement, above, is something entirely new.

New for Connecticut, anyway.

This bridge was built in a factory in several locking pieces before it was brought to this site and assembled in place. The masonry at both ends of the bridge is a facade, molded into the concrete when it was poured on a factory floor. It's steel reinforced concrete through and through. This is the first bridge in the state to be entirely prefabricated offsite.

Old South Maple Street Bridge
I was in the area for the Scantic Spring Splash, an annual river race for kayaks and canoes down the Scantic River from Somers to Enfield. When I read the finish line was a bridge, it had to be my bridge of the week.

There was a shuttle bus between the Enrico Fermi High School and the Powder Mill Barn; those wishing to see the bridge when there isn't a race going on can likely park at Powder Mill Barn. There is also some parking at Powder Hollow Park, immediately adjacent and on the other side of the river. Plenty of family friendly hiking trails, and be sure to bring your dog. Everyone else does!

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