CT's Historic Iron Truss Bridges
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Boardman's Bridge and
Lovers Leap Bridge

Boardman's Bridge, New Milford

Boardman Road and Pumpkin Hill Road over Housatonic River
New Milford
Wrought-iron lenticular through trusses
Length: 188' (Boardman), 173' (Lovers Leap)
Built in 1888 (Boardman) and 1895 (Lovers Leap)
Berlin Iron Bridge Company, fabricator

Lovers Leap Bridge, New MilfordTwo of Connecticut's remaining lenticular through trusses cross the Housatonic River in New Milford. Although both are of similar length and were built only seven years apart, they are not identical. The builder's plates, which are inscribed with the names of the selectmen as well as the date and Berlin Iron Bridge Company, are different designs, and the winged finials on Boardman's Bridge are more elaborate than the urns on Lovers Leap. The bridges, which are among the largest built by the company, differ in structural details as well. Lovers Leap Bridge uses lattice-girder hangers to suspend the floor beams from the lower chord, whereas Boardman's uses the more common "hairpins."

Boardman's Bridge, New MilfordTheir distinctive truss design was part of the reason Berlin Iron Bridge Company was so successful in dealing with local highway officials. Although the lenticular truss was in fact strong and economical, Berlin agents frequently exaggerated its qualities in comparing it with rival designs. At the same time, lenticular bridges must have given satisfaction. Many towns, like New Milford, repeatedly did business with Berlin Iron Bridge Company as they replaced their old timber bridges.

The bridges are now bypassed with modern structures. Both were listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.

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