CT's Historic Concrete Bridges (click on images for larger view)

Burnside Bridge,
Bridge No. 4496




Burnside Bridge


Forbes Street over Hockanum River
East Hartford
Concrete arch
Length: 92'
Built in 1903
C. Henry Olmstead, engineer

Burnside BridgeThe 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, Burnside Bridgean 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. Burnside BridgeIts 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.


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