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Quechee Gorge Bridge

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Photo Credit: Jimmy Emerson, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

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Description 

A regionally important bridge with an interesting history, the Quechee Gorge Bridge is perhaps one of the states most popular bridges due to its scenic location 160 feet above Vermonts "tiny grand canyon", the Quechee Gorge. The historic deck arch truss lends itself well to the location, making a good combination of a dramatic gorge with a elegant bridge.

Built in 1911 to replace a 1875 Howe Deck Truss, both this and the former bridge served the Woodstock Railway, a 14 mile shortline connecting with larger rail lines in Wells River to the town of Woodstock. Like some other Vermont shortline railroads the line never saw heavy traffic, and was thus not able to cope with the economic downturn of the Great Depression and ceased operation in 1933. The right-of-way for the rail line was taken over and became US Route 4, and the bridge deck was reconstructed to accommodate a 2 lane road with sidewalks.

The Bridge is also notable for its design engineer, John Williams Storrs, a regionally important bridge designer in the early 20th century.

Facts 

Overview
Steel arch bridge over Ottauquechee River on US 4 in Hartford
Location
Windsor County, Vermont
Status
Open to traffic
History
Built 1911; Abandoned & converted to roadway use 1933; Rehabilitated 1989
Builders
- American Bridge Co. of New York
- John Williams Storrs (Designer)
Railroads
- Rail-to-road
- Woodstock Railway
Design
deck arch bridge with deck plate girder approach spans
Dimensions
Length of largest span: 188.0 ft.
Total length: 285.1 ft.
Deck width: 29.9 ft.
Recognition
Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on October 11, 1990
Also called
Dewey's Mills Bridge
Ottauquechee River Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+43.63721, -72.40851   (decimal degrees)
43°38'14" N, 72°24'31" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
18/709035/4834843 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Quechee
Inventory numbers
NRHP 90001490 (National Register of Historic Places reference number)
BH 34096 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection (as of 05/2013)
Deck condition rating: Good (7 out of 9)
Superstructure condition rating: Fair (5 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Good (7 out of 9)
Sufficiency rating: 57.0 (out of 100)
Average daily traffic (as of 1998)
9,400

Update Log 

  • August 27, 2015: Updated by Michael Quiet: Added bridge info & pictures
  • June 20, 2014: Updated by Clark Vance: Added categories "Railroad", "Woodstock Railway"
  • December 31, 2012: New photo from Bill Culp
  • May 24, 2012: Updated by Will Truax: Added design engineer
  • August 29, 2011: New Street View added by Nathan Holth
  • October 17, 2009: Updated by C Hanchey: Bridge is known as the Quechee Gorge Bridge

Sources 

Comments 

Quechee Gorge Bridge
Posted November 10, 2013, by Will Truax (Bridgewright [at] gmail [dot] com)

Despite a short burst silliness at the beginning of this vid it is well worth a watch for both the history it unfolds for this bridge, and for some of the rare imagery it shares.

Having a particular fondness for both images of wooden trusses under construction and those of falsework, I find the shots of the Deck Howe that preceded Storrs' Arch and its 160' falsework hugely interesting.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PVotRk3HS2A

A history of The QGB prepared for its National Register nomination - http://www.crjc.org/heritage/V11-30.htm