Sunday, June 6, 2021

Amtrak/NH Bridges over Niantic River at Niantic, CT

1891: (Bridge Hunter)
1907: (Bridge Hunter; no Historic Bridges; HAER)

NH = New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad

Not all bridges on the NEC are ready to fall apart. This one was built in 2012.

Street View

Niel Fenn Davis posted


The 1891 bridge is the swing bridge in the background.
Public Domain via 1891 Bridge Hunter


3. VIEW, LOOKING NORTHWEST, SHOWING REINFORCED PIERS - New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad, Niantic Bridge, Spanning Niantic River between East Lyme & Waterford, Old Lyme, New London County, CT

Significance: The Niantic Bridge is a through girder bridge and consists of a movable span and four approach spans on stone masonry piers. The movable span is a chain-driven Scherzer rolling lift bascule span with overhead counterweight. It is significant as part of the transportation link in the shoreline route of the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad, and as an individual engineering solution to the need to provide dependable rail service while accommodating river navigation. [HAER-data]
(new window) The bridge is low to the water. It must have to operate rather frequently.


Pi.1415926535, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
 New Niantic River Bridge under construction in August 2012

Pi.1415926535, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
The 1907 and 2012 Niantic River bridges in 2012, viewed from the Route 156 bridge. The increased span and clearance of the new span is clear.

Per a comment, the new bridge is a trunnion bridge. But because the bridge is so low to the water, the trunnions are up high on towers.
Street View

safe_image for “Old Nan” Comes to the End of the Line


  1. The new bridge is not actually a Scherzer rolling bascule. It has a trunnion, mounted above the top of the girder, and the rack is for the drives. It was designed by Hardesty & Hanover, and they've simply referred to it as a "fixed trunnion bascule."

    1. Thanks for the correction. Looking closer, I can see that there is no foundation under the curved member. And it does not have the horizontal rack that a rolling bridge needs. I have updated my notes. I also checked out the web site for H&H. Unfortunately, I did not find any info on this bridge. But I did find four photos that I added to my Sarah Mildred Long Bridge notes.