< Back

Bridge Saugatuck River Westport

  • Route 1 at Saugatuck River Westport, CT 06880

The Saugatuck River Bridge is a bridge in Connecticut carrying Route 136 over the Saugatuck River in Westport. Opened: 1884 Area: 39,200 ft² (3,642 m²) Address: Westport, CT Location: Westport Body of water: Saugatuck River Bridge type: Swing bridgeConnecticut's oldest surviving movable bridge consists of a hand-cranked swing span and a fixed approach span. Both are pin-connected Pratt through trusses. The swing span, actually two Pratt trusses joined by eyebars at the portal joints, revolves on large rollers that travel along a circular track affixed to the pivot pier. To open the bridge, the operator uses a long T-handled socket wrench to turn a small pinion gear below the bridge deck. The pinion in turn meshes with a fixed ring gear, causing the bridge to rotate. The bridge's fabricator, Union Bridge Company of Buffalo, N.Y., was a pioneer in the design and construction of movable bridges. The firm had built what they claimed in 1876 was the longest draw bridge ever built, 444', over the Mississippi River. One of the proprietors, Charles H. Kellogg, was renowned for his patented method of die-forging eyebars. Under one name or another, the firm was in business from 1870 to 1900, when it was absorbed into the American Bridge Company. Westport's swing bridge was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1987.