New Bedford-Fairhaven Middle Bridge, Spanning Acushnet River on U.S. Highway 6, New Bedford, Bristol County, MA
Photo Caption Pages
Spanning Acushnet River on U.S. Highway 6, New Bedford, MA
Find maps of New Bedford, MA
Documentation compiled after 1968.
Survey number HAER MA-101
Unprocessed field note material exists for this structure (FN-20).
Building/structure dates: 1899 initial construction
Significance: The New Bedford-Fairhaven Middle Bridge is a relatively early example of electric power applied to a moveable bridge span, and is one of the longest (288') surviving swing spans in Massachusetts, under Massachusetts Department of Public Works purview. The bridge was designed by two significant engineers: George F. Swain (1857-1931) , a well-known structural engineer, and William F. Williams (1859-1929), New Bedford City Engineer.
Swain, George F.
Pencoyd Iron Works
Historic American Engineering Record (Library of Congress)
5. Detail of tower at center of swing span, looking north
6. Swing span in motion, from mid-river platform, looking north
7. Swing span in motion, from mid-river platform, looking north
8. Swing span in open position, looking north from mid-river platform
9. Detail of southeast corner of swing span in open position
10. General view of east end of swing span, looking northeast
11. Detail of central tower connections, looking northeast
12. Detail of southeast endpost and topchord of swingspan, looking northeast
13. Detail of lower chord and floor system on southeast side of swing span, looking northeast
14. Detail of sidewalk floor system on southeast side of swing span, looking northeast
15. Detail of swing mechanism at central pier at low tide
16. General view of west portal from roadway, looking southeast
17. Oblique view of west portal from pedestrian walkway, looking southeast
18. General view of truss geometry and connections at west portal end of swing span, looking southeast
Back to New Bedford, Massachusetts