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Mystic in New London County, Connecticut — The American Northeast (New England)
 

Mystic River Bascule Bridge

Built 1922

 

—Operated by the Connecticut Department of Transportation —

 
Mystic River Bascule Bridge Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, June 13, 2017
1. Mystic River Bascule Bridge Marker
Inscription.
Power to raise the bridge comes from electric motors, which drive the large “Bull Wheels” connected with Linkage arms to the two plate girders which make up the lift span. The huge concrete weights at the ends of the overhead rocking trusses counterbalance the bascule span through another set of linkages. This configuration was patented in 1918 by the New York City Consulting Engineer, Thomas E. Brown.

Channel Width: 74 ft. 6 in.
Channel Depth: 20 ft.
Movable Span Length: 85 ft.
Total Bridge Length: 218 ft.
Roadway Width: 33 ft.
Clearance Over Roadway: 18 ft. 8 in.
Tower Height: 33 ft. 9 in.
Total Bridge Height 44 ft. 6 in.
Movable Span Weight: 664 tons
Counterweight: 285 tons each
Average Bridge Opening: 7 min.
Typical Openings: 2200 per year

Rehabilitated 2000 to 2013
The bridge was rehabilitated in two phases. The first phase began in 2000 and the second phase began in 2010. The goal was to restore the long term reliable operation of the bridge. This was successfully completed in April of 2013.

Phase 1 Rehabilitation: replacement of the open grid steel deck system and sidewalk decking. Also completed structural repairs to the concrete counterweights, sidewalk supports and pier substructure.

Engineer:
Mystic River Bascule Bridge Marker (<i>wide view</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, June 12, 2017
2. Mystic River Bascule Bridge Marker (wide view)
Marker is visible beside the walkway on the Operator's House wall. The two 285 ton counter weights seen here in "bridge open" or "down" position.
Fuss and O’Neil, Inc.

Phase 2 Rehabilitation: Complete replacement of the operator’s house, operating machinery and electrical control systems. Repairs to the structural steel, including painting of the superstructure. All repairs were carefully designed to match the historic character of the original bridge. For example, the electric motors were lowered into machinery pits beneath the pedestrian sidewalks in accordance with the original 1920 design.

Engineer: Transystems Corp., Close, Jensen & Miller, P.C., Stafford Bandlow Engineering, Inc., Flanders Engineering Group, Inc., LP Consultants, LLC.

Contractors: Cianbro Corporation, Gemstone LLC., Mountain Machine Works, G&G Steel, Benfield Controls.
 
Erected by Connecticut Department of Transportation.
 
Location. 41° 21.281′ N, 71° 58.135′ W. Marker is in Mystic, Connecticut, in New London County. Marker is on West Main Street (U.S. 1) east of Gravel Street, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is a large metal plaque mounted at eye level, directly on the Bridge Operator's House, beside the pedestrian walkway, on the north side of the bridge. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1 West Main Street, Mystic CT 06355, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers
Bridge Construction Plaque and Bull Wheel image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, June 12, 2017
3. Bridge Construction Plaque and Bull Wheel
Mystic River Bridge
built by
Connecticut State Highway Department
Charles J. Bennett, Commissioner
Richard L. Saunders, Deputy, Arthur W. Bushell, Division Engineer

The Towns of
Croton and Stonington
Selectmen
Louis P. Allyn
Fred Holdsworth
Clark B. Whaley
John Fribance
Conrad Kretzer
Lawrence C. Purthill

Contractors
The J.E. Fitzgerald Company
American Bridge Company
1922
are within walking distance of this marker. Mystic Civil War Memorial (approx. 0.3 miles away); Whaleship Charles W. Morgan (approx. 0.3 miles away); Hays & Ros Clark Shiplift (approx. 0.3 miles away); Lathrop D-90 Diesel Engine (approx. 0.4 miles away); Wichmann Semi-Diesel Engine (approx. 0.4 miles away); Compound Steam Engine (approx. 0.4 miles away); Live Oak Log (approx. 0.4 miles away); Propeller Steamer Sabino (approx. 0.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Mystic.
 
Regarding Mystic River Bascule Bridge. Bridge carries US Highway 1, (known locally as Main Street), across the Mystic River, linking the east and west sides of Mystic, Connecticut.
 
Also see . . .
1. Mystic River Bascule Bridge.
The Strauss Heel-trunnion type bridge was designed by former Otis Elevator Company Chief Engineer Thomas Ellis Brown of New York and built in 1920 by the J. E. FitzGerald Construction Company of New London, Connecticut. (Submitted on March 11, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

2. Mystic River Bridge, Bridge No. 362.
(This link includes a picture of the bridge in "closed" or "up" position.) Few bridges are as much fun to watch in operation as the Route 1 bridge in Mystic, because unlike many bascules, its mechanical parts are all out in the open. Besides being economical to build, the design had many advantages: accessibility
Mystic River Bridge (<i>Operator's House</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, June 12, 2017
4. Mystic River Bridge (Operator's House)
of major parts for maintenance, automatic braking of the bridge at the top of its movement, latitude for imprecise motor control, and distribution of the bridge and counterweight forces onto separate piers. (Submitted on March 11, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
Categories. Bridges & ViaductsLandmarksMan-Made Features
 
Mystic River Bridge (<i>"Bull Wheels" and superstructure</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, June 13, 2017
5. Mystic River Bridge ("Bull Wheels" and superstructure)
Mystic River Bridge - US Highway 1 (Main Street) - looking west across the bridge deck image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, June 13, 2017
6. Mystic River Bridge - US Highway 1 (Main Street) - looking west across the bridge deck
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on March 13, 2018. This page originally submitted on March 11, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 31 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on March 11, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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