CT's Historic Masonry Arches

(click on images for larger view)

South State Street Bridge,
Bridge No. 3682

South State Street Bridge

South State Street over Rippowam River
Stone arch
Length: 3 spans of 30'
Built 1847
The New York and New Haven Railroad built this substantial masonry-arch bridge in 1847 on what would become Connecticut's most important rail corridor. Like other railroads of the period, the New York and New Haven preferred stone bridges for major crossings because of its strength and durability; iron was not yet widely accepted as a bridge material. Trainloads of passengers and freight rolled over these arches until the early 1890s, when the New Haven Railroad moved its main line a short distance to the south as part of its four-track expansion. The town then took over the bridge for highway use.

The bridge is an outstanding monument to the early days of railroading in Connecticut. Although modern railings and sidewalks have been added, the bridge retains much of its historic appearance. Because of extensive rebuilding, large engineering structures from the state's first episode of railroad construction are now extremely rare.

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