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

North Main Street Bridge,
Bridge No. 3651



North Main Street Bridge, West Hartford


North Main Street over Trout Brook
West Hartford
Concrete arch
Length: 3 spans, 78' overall, 15' maximum span length
Built in 1901 A. B. Alderson, engineer

This small, plainly detailed bridge has the distinction of being the oldest remaining concrete bridge in Connecticut. It was one of a series of bridges, all concrete, built by the town of West Hartford under the direction of local engineer Algernon B. Alderson. Concrete construction was still in its infancy when this bridge was built. There was yet no agreement on the proper mixture of cement, sand, and stone, and engineers argued over the type of reinforcing steel and the best way to lay the reinforcement to make the strongest bridge.

North Main Street Bridge, West HartfordThis bridge contributed to the advancement of concrete bridge construction in Connecticut when it appeared in the Proceedings of the Connecticut Society of Civil Engineers as an example of a high-strength concrete mixture. An engineer for the contractor, Hartford Paving and Construction Company, noted that it had the longest, shallowest arches that his company had ever built without using reinforcing steel. Although a modest structure, the bridge deserves respect as a pioneer of what would become the 20th century's most important bridge material.

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