Moving from one state to another on Route One across a river is often dramatic; the Piscataqua between New Hampshire and Maine, The Hudson between New York and New Jersey, The Delaware between New Jersey and Pennsylvania, The Potomac between Virginia and Maryland, the Savannah between Georgia and South Carolina, and even the St. Mary’s between Florida and Georgia. The most demure state-to-state crossing is the Broad Street bridge across the Pawcatuck River that separates Rhode Island from Connecticut.
The concrete T-beam span, completed in 1932, is less than 120 feet long. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1988. The bridge has been rebuilt or replaced five times since the first wooden crossing was built there in 1712. The bridge became an increasingly important connection between the Colonies, forming an essential link for the Boston Post Road. Today, the bridge unites the city of Westerly RI with its less prosperous Connecticut neighbor, Pawcatuck. Pawcatuck (now part of Stonington) grew as a gritty seaport and industrial town that used river power for mills and tanneries, while Westerly was where the banks, stores, theaters and libraries ended up. Somehow, capital floated upriver!