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Bridge No. 1659
• Bridge Street over Housatonic
• Concrete arch
• Length: 5 spans, 466' overall, 94' maximum span length
• Built in 1918
• Connecticut Highway Department, engineers
The Derby-Shelton Bridge was the second major bridge project completed by the State Highway Department. After the Department was given authority over the state's bridges in 1915, its engineers immediately turned their attention to the shoreline Post Road (now U.S. 1), completing the state's first bridge in 1917. At the same time, the Department began planning the replacement of the 1891 bridge that connected the cities of Derby and Shelton, both of which were undergoing explosive industrial growth as a result of World War I. The bridge was designed with especially heavy loads in mind, such as trucks loaded with industrial materials and streetcar work trains (the bridge formerly carried two sets of trolley tracks in addition to the vehicular lanes). The Derby-Shelton Bridge set the tone for much of the state's bridge program in the 1920s and 1930s: preference for concrete construction, the use of arches for long crossings, and standard details such as the paneled railing finished with rough-textured concrete in the recesses.