South Washington Street Bridge

South Washington Street Bridge

The South Washington Street Bridge carries pedestrians and cyclists on South Washington Street over the Susquehanna River in Binghamton, New York. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.


History

Washington Street, a primary thoroughfare for Binghamton, crossed the Susquehanna River via a covered bridge. 1 William O. Douglas, an engineer from the city, secured a contract for its replacement for the Berlin Iron Bridge Company of East Berlin, Connecticut in 1886.

The new Washington Street Bridge was constructed between the late-1886 and 1887 by the Berlin Iron Bridge Company of East Berlin, Connecticut at the cost of $38,000. 1 It was the longest multiple-span, wrought iron, pin-connected lenticular truss bridge constructed in the state during the 19th century, and incorporated the “parabolic” truss design patented by Douglas.

The Berlin Iron Bridge Company had built hundreds of prefabricated iron vehicular bridges based upon the patented lenticular or “parabolic” truss design between 1880 and 1900. 1 Douglas, who patented the design in 1878 and 1885, had assigned his patents to the Berlin Iron Bridge Company and worked as an agent and designer for the firm from his residence.

The Washington Street Bridge received a new wood deck in 1934, which was replaced in 1959 with a steel grid deck. 1 The effects of highway salt led to the deterioration of the deck support system and the bridge was closed to automobiles in 1969. In 1997, the floor beams were replaced and the superstructure was repainted. 2

Work to renovate the Washington Street Bridge at the cost of $2.1 million began in May 2016. 2 The superstructure was repainted, the concrete deck was sealed, the railings and joints were repaired, and the wood sidewalk deck was replaced. It was discovered during the project that a flood in 2011 caused more structural damage than expected. 3 The state stepped up with $500,000 to fund the additional repairs, and the entire project was completed on September 9, 2016.

 


Information

  • State: New York
  • Route: South Washington Street
  • Type: Lenticular through truss
  • Status: Active - Pedestrian
  • Total Length: 484 feet
  • Main Span Length: 160 feet
  • Deck Width: 36 feet
  • Above Vertical Clearance: 9.6 feet

Sources

  1. Smith, Raymond W. South Washington Street Parabolic Bridge. Research report no. 78001842, National Register of Historic Places, July 1977.
  2. Brockett, Megan. “Work on South Washington St. bridge underway.” Press & Sun-Bulletin [Binghamton], 17 May 2016.
  3. “South Washington Street bridge in Binghamton reopens after renovations.” Binghamton Homepage, 9 Sept. 2016.

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