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Bardwell's Ferry Bridge
Bardwell Ferry Bridge.jpg
Historic Bardwell's Ferry Bridge over the Deerfield River
Coordinates 42°33′20″N 72°40′41″W / 42.55556°N 72.67806°W / 42.55556; -72.67806
Carries Bardwell's Ferry Road
Crosses Deerfield River
Locale Conway, Massachusetts
Design Truss bridge
Total length 198 ft (60 m)
Width 14 ft (4.3 m)
Designer Douglas, William O.; Berlin Iron Bridge Co.
Construction end 1880
Bardwell's Ferry Bridge
Nearest city Conway, Massachusetts
Built 1882
Architect William O. Douglas, Berlin Iron Bridge Co.
NRHP reference No. 00000076
Added to NRHP February 10, 2000

The Bardwell's Ferry Bridge, built in 1882, is an historic lenticular truss bridge spanning the Deerfield River between the towns of Shelburne and Conway in Franklin County, Massachusetts. The bridge is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


Looking across Bardwell's Ferry Bridge from its west end in 2014
View from road, at bridge's west end

The Bardwell's Ferry Bridge carries Bardwell's Ferry Road across the Deerfield River. The bridge is situated within a deep valley, with sharply sloping roadways on each side.

Built by the Berlin Iron Bridge Co. of East Berlin, Connecticut, the bridge is 198 feet (60 m) long, consisting of 13 panels. It is the longest single span lenticular bridge in Massachusetts.

The end posts and upper chords are built-up open box members, consisting riveted plates and angles giving dimensions of 18 by 12 inches (46 cm × 30 cm). The lower chords are constructed from 1-by-3-inch (3 cm × 8 cm) eye bars. The bridge deck is 14 feet (4.3 m) wide and is constructed of wooden planks.

During the latter part of the 19th century, the Berlin Iron Bridge Co. manufactured and erected almost 800 lenticular truss bridges in the United States (Darnell 1979). While most of these bridges were built in New England, a few were constructed in Ohio and Texas. These bridges are sometimes referred to as "pumpkin-seed bridges", "cats-eyes bridges", "elliptical truss bridges", or "parabolic truss bridges" because of their unique lens shape. Lenticular bridges were only used for vehicular traffic and were generally considered too light to be used for railroad and trolley loads.

Bardwell's Ferry Bridge viewed from north in 2014
Full view of bridge from the north in 2014

The Bardwell's Ferry Bridge was restored in the 1990s, and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2000.

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