CT's Historic Masonry Arches


(click on images for larger view)

Naubuc Avenue,
Bridge No. 3671


Naubuc Avenue Bridge, Glastonbury
Naubuc Avenue over Porter Brook
Glastonbury
Stone arch
Length: 20'
Built in 1871
Roadside view of Naubuc Avenue BridgeThis is one of the best-preserved examples of the bridges built following the disastrous flood of October 1869. Swollen by heavy rains that year, rivers and streams overflowed their banks and burst through mill dams, washing away all bridges in their paths. Glastonbury was especially hard-hit, with seventeen of the town's eighteen bridges destroyed. Over the next two years, the town built replacements, mostly of stone, which it hoped would hold up to flood waters better than wooden bridges. Instead of the usual few hundred dollars a year, Glastonbury's bridge expenditures soared to about $36,000 and forced the town to take out a bank loan.

Endstone on Naubuc Avenue BridgeThe masonry in this bridge is particularly distinguished. Although the spandrels are made of rougher stone, the arch ring itself is formed from carefully cut brownstone blocks with the faces tooled in a vermiculated pattern. Similarly finished blocks are used for the railings' thick capstones and ends, one of which bears the date "July 1, 1871" carved in raised characters.

This bridge is probably the span referred to in town accounts as "Cove Bridge," since it was on the road to Keeney Cove. Like Glastonbury's other "Flood of 1869" bridges, it was built with local labor and materials.

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