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Interlocken Mill Bridge

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c. 1885, Berlin Iron Bridge Co., engineers

This disused lenticular truss bridge, a little downstream from its near contemporary, is concealed from easy view behind the mill buildings of what is now the Interlocken Arkwright Company. Originally built to connect a new dye house and bleachery (which no longer exist) on the opposite side of the river from the weaving plant, this is the only example in Rhode Island of a bridge form invented by William O. Douglas of New York in 1878 and for which the Berlin Bridge Company virtually controlled the patents. The roadway crosses between lozenge-shaped trusses which swell to their maximum width at the center, where the most tensile support is needed to counteract the sag and collapse of the roadway. The trusses taper to points at either embankment. More than technologically fascinating, both bridges are a visual delight.

Writing Credits

Author: 
William H. Jordy et al.
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Citation

William H. Jordy et al., "Interlocken Mill Bridge", [Coventry, Rhode Island], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/RI-01-CO2.

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