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Groveland Bridge

Bates Bridge

   
                  


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Bridge Documented: July 13, 2008 and June 18, 2012
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Key Facts
Bridge Name Facility Carried / Feature Intersected Location Structure Type Construction Date and Builder/Engineer
! Groveland Bridge
Bates Bridge
MA-113 and MA-97 Over Merrimack River Groveland: Essex County, Massachusetts Metal Through Girder, Movable: Single Leaf Bascule (Fixed Trunnion) and Approach Spans: Metal 8 Panel Rivet-Connected Pratt Through Truss, Fixed 1914 By Builder/Contractor: Boston Bridge Works of Boston, Massachusetts and Engineer/Design: George F. Swain
Technical Facts
Rehabilitation Date Main Span Length Structure Length Roadway Width Main Spans Approach Spans NBI Number
1951 117 Feet (35.7 Meters) 790 Feet (240.8 Meters) 27 Feet (8.2 Meters) 1 5 G1500130EDOTNBI

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth and Rick McOmber

This Bridge's Future Is At Risk!

View Archived National Bridge Inventory Report - Has Additional Details and Evaluation

This historic bridge is being replaced on new alignment and will be demolished as part of the project! Completion Estimate: June 2014

View Massachusetts Historical Commission (MHC) Inventory Forms For This Historic Bridge

View plans for the previous swing bridge at this location.

This bridge was an unusual structure because its main span which was a plate girder bascule bridge, is smaller in appearance than the large, imposing through truss spans which serve as approach spans. The bascule span was a single leaf through plate girder. The curved rack at the end rose above the height of the girder superstructure, giving it an unusual appearance. This design is because the rack and pinion were placed outside of the girder, rather than on the inside. This design was utilized in one of the oldest fixed trunnion bascule bridges in existence, the Tower Bridge in London. On the Tower Bridge, the large towers of the bridge conceal the rack of the bascule leaves. In contrast, fixed trunnion bascule bridges in Chicago lack the unusual rack design, since the rack and pinion systems are located in the interior of the superstructure where the rack does not need to extend beyond the size of the superstructure proper.

The Groveland Bridge has an interesting history. An 1882 swing bridge at the location lost three of its southeastern spans to a fire. As such, three new through truss spans were built in 1913-1914 as replacements. Later, the swing span, and the remaining two fixed spans at the northwestern end of the bridge were replaced in 1951. Boston Bridge Works was responsible for building the three 1913 spans. T. Stuart and Sons Company was the contractor for the 1950 spans, with the steel fabricator being the American Bridge Company of New York, New York.

The bridge is officially named after Congressman William H. Bates.

Main Plaque

GROVELAND BRIDGE
REBUILT AD 1913.

MOODY KIMBALL
JAMES C. POOR
J. M. GROSVENOR JR.
               COUNTY COMMISSIONERS.

ROBERT EVANS
               COUNTY ENGINEER

GEORGE F. SWAIN
               CONSULTING ENGINEER

THE BOSTON BRIDGE WORKS INC.
               CONTRACTORS
               BOSTON -MASS

Information and Findings From The Massachusetts Historic Bridge Inventory

Description

Describe: Banks of Merrimack are heavily wooded, screening the mostly residential neighborhoods behind. Groveland's center village, a 19th-century rural trading center with some 20th-century commercial intrusions, is situated at the southerly end of the bridge. History of bridge and site: A chain ferry on this site at least as early as 1827 was replaced in 1870 by an iron bowstring truss drawbridge which collapsed within 10 years. It was replaced in 1882 by a 6-span iron truss bridge (one span a rim-bearing swing) designed and built by the Boston Bridge Works. The 3 southerly spans of the 1882 bridge burned in 1913 and were replaced by the present 3 southerly spans. The remaining (northerly) spans of the 1882 bridge were replaced by the present northerly through trusses and bascule span in 1950.

Statement of Significance

The 1950 bascule span is the 11th-oldest of 20 trunnion-type bascule spans identified in the MDPW statewide computer print-out. It is one of 29 bascule spans of all types identified in the MDPW print-out, and one of 14 single-leaf bascule spans included among the 29. (These totals do not include an unknown number of railroad bascules which are not covered in the MDPW listing) . The 5 through truss spans, 2 dating from 1950 and 3 from 1913, are all of the standard Pratt configuration (Pratts being one of the two most common types among surviving truss bridges) and both sets of truss spans utilize the more modern riveted connections rather than the earlier pinned construction.

Alterations

Present sidewalk probably dates to 1950 as it looks original on 3 northern spans but is clearly added to 3 southern ones. Latticed railing on westerly side 3 southern spans (1913) quite possibly original.

Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: Yes

View PDF of Original Historic Bridge Inventory Sheets

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Photos and Videos: Groveland Bridge

Available Photo Galleries and Videos

Click on a thumbnail or gallery name below to visit that particular photo gallery. If videos are available, click on a video name to view and/or download that particular video.

 
View Photo Gallery Structure Overview
Original / Full Size Photos
A collection of overview photos that show the bridge as a whole and general areas of the bridge. For the best visual immersion and full detail, or for use as a desktop background, this gallery presents the photos for this bridge in the original digital camera resolution.
View Photo Gallery Structure Details
Original / Full Size Photos
A collection of detail photos that document the parts, construction, and condition of the bridge. For the best visual immersion and full detail, or for use as a desktop background, this gallery presents the photos for this bridge in the original digital camera resolution.
View Photo Gallery Structure Overview
Mobile Optimized Gallery
A collection of overview photos that show the bridge as a whole and general areas of the bridge. View the photos for this bridge in a reduced size which is useful for mobile/smartphone users, modem (dial-up) users, or those who do not wish to wait for the longer download times of the full-size photos. Alternatively, view this photo gallery using a popup slideshow viewer (great for mobile users) by clicking the link below.
Browse Gallery With Popup Viewer
View Photo Gallery Structure Details
Mobile Optimized Gallery
A collection of detail photos that document the parts, construction, and condition of the bridge. View the photos for this bridge in a reduced size which is useful for mobile/smartphone users, modem (dial-up) users, or those who do not wish to wait for the longer download times of the full-size photos. Alternatively, view this photo gallery using a popup slideshow viewer (great for mobile users) by clicking the link below.
Browse Gallery With Popup Viewer
View Photo Gallery 2008 Documentation
Original / Full Size Photos
Photo collection assembled in 2008. For the best visual immersion and full detail, or for use as a desktop background, this gallery presents the photos for this bridge in the original digital camera resolution.
View Photo Gallery 2008 Documentation
Mobile Optimized Gallery
Photo collection assembled in 2008. View the photos for this bridge in a reduced size which is useful for mobile/smartphone users, modem (dial-up) users, or those who do not wish to wait for the longer download times of the full-size photos. Alternatively, view this photo gallery using a popup slideshow viewer (great for mobile users) by clicking the link below.
Browse Gallery With Popup Viewer

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