Scenic USA - Connecticut

West Cornwall Bridge

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West Cornwall Bridge - Connecticut

Photos by Ben Prepelka
Scenic USA Artist Website

West Cornwall Bridge      Heavy flooding, fire, ice storms, sagging trusses and the Connecticut DOT's strong desire to replace it, the West Cornwall Bridge has continued to survive its last 150 years. Spanning 242 feet over the Housatonic River in northwestern Connecticut, the bright-red single lane bridge still carries Route 128 traffic everyday. West Cornwall residents are accustom to waiting their turn to cross over Ithiel Town span, and equally familiar with plenty of covered bridge fans and sightseers gathering around both sides of the Housatonic landmark.
     Hoping to alleviate single land congestion, the DOT considered a replacement. When the word leaked out, the town erupted in unbelief. Looking to quell the instant furor, Connecticut engineers designed a new plan to raise the bridge and stiffen its sagging trusses with a concealed beam. When the project was complete, the persistence of Cornwall residents were rewarded with a bright red, fine looking hometown landmark. The Connecticut DOT was also commended for the project, Housatonic River Paddler receiving first place for their Outstanding Example of Preservation of a Historic Site by the Federal Highway Administration.
     Here in western Connecticut and Massachusetts, the Housatonic is a major river. Although the river is dammed in five different locations, the Housatonic remains a popular whitewater destination. Paddlers enjoy Class I to IV rapids, with difficult sections at Bulls Bridge and Great Falls. Here in West Cornwall, paddlers enjoy this gentle section of the river, as well as one of the most picturesque covered bridge sites in Connecticut.

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