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Bridge No. 4496
• Forbes Street over Hockanum River
• East Hartford
• Concrete arch
• Length: 92'
• Built in 1903
• C. Henry Olmstead, engineer
The shallow-arched profile of East Hartford's Burnside Bridge illustrates the engineering possibilities of reinforced-concrete: such a shape would have been virtually impossible with a stone arch. The bridge appears to have been built on the Melan system of reinforcement, an early method which used arched steel girders imbedded within the concrete. It was designed by East Hartford engineer C. Henry Olmsted.
The bridge is also significant as Connecticut's first example of a "City Beautiful" bridge. Its graceful lines and granite-ashlar exterior show that it was intended to be aesthetically pleasing as well as functional. Forbes Street was formerly a major road leading to Burnside, a neighborhood undergoing rapid growth in the early 20th century.