Construction began on the Androscoggin Swinging Bridge on May 19, 1892. It was built above the Androscoggin River in between Brunswick and Topsham, Maine, to allow workers from the Cabot Mill to easily cross the river. The bridge was built by John A. Roebling’s Sons Company, who also built the Brooklyn Bridge in New York City. The cost of construction was $2,000, which is around $56,000, when adjusted for inflation. In 1906, the bridge became a public way and at 330 feet long; it is the largest pedestrian bridge in Maine. It was originally constructed with timber-framed towers, but they were replaced between 1913 and 1916.
In 1936, a flood destroyed much of the bridge and it was rebuilt using the original suspension cables and new concrete foundations in 1938. A joint committee was created by the towns of Brunswick and Topsham to study the state of the bridge in 2000. It found that the concrete was deteriorating, there was rust everywhere, and much of the wood was rotten. The bridge was not expected to survive the next decade. A group of citizens from both towns were appointed to raise funds to repair the bridge. Restoration work was completed in December 2006. Public parks opened on each side of the bridge in the summer of 2007. On September 8, 2007, a reopening and rededication ceremony was held with two of John A. Roebling’s great-great-great granddaughters in attendance.
The bridge was added to the National Register of Historic Places in January 2004. In May 2011, the Maine Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers dedicated it as a Maine Historic Civil Engineering Landmark. It’s scheduled to become part of the Androscoggin Riverwalk in the next three to five years.
Matt Lambros ME Topsham Jul 03, 2022 Architecture Bridges History
Location: Topsham, ME
Matt Lambros Jul 03, 2022
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