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Letter: Save one heritage bridge

Last modified: 3/26/2014 9:49:03 AM
As a historic preservationist, it is with resignation I read of the impending losses of the Sewalls Falls Bridge and Canterbury-Boscawen’s Depot Street Bridge. Celebration even followed votes to see these spans removed.

It seems we are cleaning out New Hampshire’s historic bridge inventory at an alarming rate. With the passing of each year, we lose a few more. This may be necessary, as there is no love for steel heritage bridges in the Granite State. It never developed here like in Vermont and the Midwest. The two aforementioned spans are but the latest of the this civil engineering type to be lost. Merrimack River watershed bridge losses include Concord’s Manchester Street Bridge, the Plymouth-Holderness Pemigewasset River bridge and the Notre Dame Bridge of Manchester.

One heritage bridge of value remains: the Pumpkinseed Bridge of Livermore Falls. It is a lenticular span, hence the pumpkin seed moniker. It is like Vermont’s lenticular bridge of Highgate Falls and the Bardswell Ferry bridge of Shelburne Falls, Mass. It has been left alone in an abandoned state. Perhaps with a renewed interest in the state land surrounding Livermore Falls, we might reconsider the Pumpkinseed Bridge. One bridge saved out of many might be enough to commemorate a bridge type rapidly disappearing from the Granite State landscape, a type symbolic of New Hampshire’s proud industrial era culture.

Take all the rest of them if you must. But leave us one bridge at the center of a possible future state park.

STEVEN W. LINDSEY

Keene


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