Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Braga Bridge, Fall River-Somerset, MA

Charles M. Braga Jr Bridge
My group at work changed floors; now we're located with the business folks (for whom we're the IT department), and I get to listen to the business folk talk about the business. And one mentioned the Braga Bridge.

My ears perked up, as they always do when bridges are the topic. But especially the Braga Bridge -- I knew that bridge. I had a picture of that bridge.

I got this picture on my way between two other bridges, neither of which I have written about. Because the pictures weren't great, the light was wrong... as they are with this bridge, the Braga Bridge, about which a haiku contest was run:
Six-lane thoroughfare; 
Minus two lanes of repair;
Four lanes of despair. 
Jay Martineau, Westport
I grew up not terribly far from here, and some school trip or other got us visiting the Battleship Massachusetts, which is permanently docked on the Fall River side of the bridge (you can see it there, though the battleship gray blends in so perfectly with the water and the background that it's almost like it was designed to...)

Bizarrely, I don't remember this bridge from when I was a kid. I have no explanation.

Replica of the Iwo Jima Memorial
I shot the bridge from a really beautiful park along the Taunton River just up from the bridge and just below a rather ordinary bridge that I couldn't get any sort of picture of. The park is dominated by a replica of the Iwo Jima Memorial. I had no idea it was there. I love most being surprised by the things I find when I'm bridge hunting.

Brayton Point Power Plant
Across the river from the park is the Brayton Point Power Plant, which I assumed to be nuclear, but is actually a coal powered generating station.

The Braga Bridge is much longer than I show in the picture, but it's hard to get the entire bridge in a shot, and stitching all the pictures together doesn't look cool. It's all a deck truss bridge up until this Warren truss bit on the Fall River side... so in your imagination, draw an endless line to the right. The whole bridge is over a mile long.

I was going to head down to the USS Massachusetts and try to get a more oblique shot of the bridge... but then I noticed something in the distance behind the Braga Bridge.

OMG... what bridge is THAT?
THAT... is the Mount Hope Bridge in Bristol, Rhode Island. And it instantly became the next stop on my hunt.

What was the first stop? The reason for the trip in the first place?

It was a viaduct about which Wikipedia had said was almost impossible to photograph without trespassing. I took that challenge. Someday I'll let you see how it turned out.

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