Once there were a number of King highway and railroad bridges of various types in New England often featured prominently in the company catalogues over the years. Now there are only a few left, some active still on railroad lines, plus the Zenas King Memorial Bridge in Granville, Vermont.
The Zenas King Memorial Beam Girder-1909 – Granville, Vermont
(See NEW 9/12/04 and 2004 UPDATE)
In Waltham, Massachusetts – the Moody Street Bowstring across the Charles River was featured prominently in the King Bridge Company catalogues of the early 1870s.
In Worcester, Massachusetts – a catalogue of the early 1880s featured this artist’s rendering of a high truss bridge.
In Brunswick, Maine – the Brunswick-Topsham Bridge was also featured in catalogues of the early 1880s. Despite controversy over the safety of this bridge design, it was able to last until 1914 when it was washed out in a flood.
In Jay, Maine – Three truss bridges across the Androscoggin River were featured in the company catalogues of the 1890s designed to serve this important paper milling and logging center.
In Boston – the Summer (L) Street Retractile Bridge was featured in the company catalogues of the 1890s. Built in 1892, it lasted until 2003 when it was replaced as part of the “Big Dig” project. The bridge plate was salvaged and is in possession of Zenas King’s descendants.
In Salem, Massachusetts – the Beverly-Salem Swing Bridge was built by the King Bridge Company in the 1890s and was in service until the 1970s when it was replaced by a modern fixed bridge.
In Woodstock Vermont, this high truss bridge served as an important river crossing until relatively recently.
For the railroads of New England, the King Bridge Company apparently was a major player, particularly for the New York, New Haven and Hartford System (the New Haven Railroad) in the 1890s and early 1900s. In addition to the Harlem River Swing Bridge in New York City and “Old Nan”, described below, the company provided a number of rather ordinary beam girder bridges on only on the main line of the New Haven, but also on branches in the Naugatuck Valley and on Cape Cod.
In Torrington, Connecticut – We recently received photos of two beam girders in Torrington, Connecticut which were built for the Naugatuck Valley Branch of the New Haven Railroad in 1903. This line is still used occasionally for excursion trains.
On Cape Cod – We know of two beam girder railroad bridges that were in existence until the last few years, one on the Sandwich to Hyannis Line in Barnstable and the other in Bourne on the line to Falmouth. Both have apparently been replaced . The bridge in Barnstable was pictured in the Massachusetts historic bridge inventory is shown below.
The most remarkable of the King bridges built in New England is the bascule bridge affectionately called “Old Nan” which is still in use but scheduled for replacement in the near future. It is described in detail below:
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The “Old Nan” Bascule RR Bridge -1907 – Niantic River, Connecticut