Bridging the past

Most all of the folks who know me have never seen these 4 bridges. I grew up crossing all 4. They offer unique views of the riverbed, riverbanks, and the surrounding buildings.

As a youngster, I did not know or care about any historical significance. What I did take the time to look at was the ways they were put together.

The details of their construction intrigued me. Rivets, stone arches, concrete pilings, arches, cables, trusses. It’s all there. I am likely not the only person to make time to learn about why things are put together the way they are after looking and thinking about these 4 varied examples.

The embellishments are subtle and pleasing.

To this day I have a scar on my left arm from the Upper bridge. I was heading to my job of picking strawberries one early June day. There was dew on the steel bridge deck.

From the Essex county side there’s a fairly steep hill between the old Phone Company building and the bridge. You can get your 10 speed moving mighty fast down that hill.

The approach to the bridge is a right hand curve. I was still leaned over into the curve when my tires transitioned from asphalt to the open grate steel deck. I kept the bicycle on its wheels and slid my left arm just below the shoulder along the rusty steel pipe that serves as a guardrail.

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