(click on images for larger view)
Edgewood Avenue Bridge,
Bridge No. 3608
• Edgewood Avenue over West River
• New Haven
• Concrete arch
• Length: 3 spans, 192' overall, 55' maximum span length
• Built in 1910
Edgewood Avenue Bridge is the centerpiece of an extensive, designed landscape that includes a divided boulevard leading up to the bridge, a stretch of wooded parkland along the West River, and a planned residential neighborhood on the surrounding streets. Developed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Edgewood was the first comprehensively planned area in New Haven. The bridge's wide roadway, ornate portals, and elegant railing make it a fitting gateway to Edgewood. The bridge also provides a visual link between Edgewood Avenue and the park, whose riverside drives are bordered by similar balustrades as they pass under the bridge.
Edgewood Avenue Bridge is notable as one of the earliest Connecticut bridges to make full use of the decorative possibilities of concrete. Since it is poured in place, concrete can take any shape. Details such as this bridge's acorn finials, urn-shaped balusters, and paneled surfaces, which would be exorbitant to execute in stone, could be accomplished relatively cheaply in concrete, since the molds and formwork could be used repeatedly. Although cities continued to build bridges with decorative stonework, Elmwood Avenue Bridge demonstrated that dignity and elegance could also be created with concrete.