India Point Railroad Bridge


The new double-track steel bridge over the river at India Point, Providence, having a total length of 403 feet, has been completed and in successful operation. There is a draw span 227 feet long over all, with openings 80 feet in the clear, also two fixed spans of 75 feet and 101 feet respectively. The draw span is located close to the Providence shore, bringing it more nearly in line with the draw in Washington bridge, thus making it easier and safer for vessels to pass through. Work was commenced on the substructure about December 20th, 1901, by the contracting firm of Holbrook, Cabot & Rollins, of Boston, and completed June 1st, 1903. The superstructure was started about September 15th, 1902, by the Boston Bridge Works, and completed about June 1st, 1903. The whole work was carried on under the greatest difficulties, due to the fact that the heavy traffic on the railroad had to be maintained without interruption; otherwise the bridge would have been finished in considerably less time.

Pages 11-12, Report of the Railroad Commissioner, Rhode Island 1903


The superstructure of the swing span of this bridge was been removed by NAE under authorization by the Water Resources Development Act of 1986. The deteriorated center span has been determined to be a hazard to navigation, and rehabilitating the bridge on the existing location is not feasible.

The bridge consists of four, double-track, riveted, structural steel spans. The center-pivot, swinging draw span, located on the west side of the river, consists of two end-to-end Baltimore through trusses joined by a central tower, resting on a central granite pier. Two fixed, pony-type, Pratt truss approach spans are located on the east side of the river.

The swing span consists of two identical, 109ft., 10 in., riveted, through-type Baltimore (Petit)-type (modified Pratt) trusses unified by a continuous, 222 ft., 8 in. long floor assembly. The height of the entire assembly from the top of the central superstructure to the bottom of the pivot mechanism is 48 ft. Vertical clearance from top-of-rail to portal brace is 21ft. The builder's plate is mounted over the north portal. The two trusses are linked at the center of the swing span by a 42 ft. tall structure which also supports the bridge operator's control cabin, located above and between the two draw span trusses. The central swinging span pivot rests on its original, 36ft., 4 in. cylindrical block drum pier.

From Historic Bridge Offering, Providence, Rhode Island, advertising in Providence Journal, 2000.


India Point Bridges - August 2001

Copyright ©2001 by David Wayne Hurd. All Rights Reserved.

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The superstructure of the bridge was removed in October 2001.

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