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West Main Street Bridge,
Bridge No. 1117
• West Main Street over Naugatuck River
• Concrete arch
• Length: 3 spans, 194' overall, 64' maximum span length
• Built in 1922
• Robert A. Cairns, engineer
Few cities were as heavily influenced by the "City Beautiful" movement as Waterbury. In 1910 an entire area of the city was torn down and rebuilt to provide the proper setting for the city's railroad station, and over the next several years civic leaders created an institutional core that included a new city hall, central fire station, and social services building, as well as new headquarters for the brass manufacturing companies that dominated the city's economy.
At the same time, the city rebuilt many of its bridges with graceful, handsomely detailed arches. The West Main Street bridge, for example, replaced an old iron truss, which was then re-used in a more out-of-the-way location. The bridge is a model of Neo-Classicism, with its simple pilasters, stringcourses, raised arch rings, and granite railings creating a dignified appearance. In order not to ruin views of the bridge and river, City Engineer Robert Cairns designed conduits for electrical wires and other utilities beneath the bridge's sidewalks. While the bridge was still being designed, prominent manufacturer Irving H. Chase donated a 600'-long strip of land on the west bank to provide a park-like setting for the new structure.