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RBCD Rewind: Hadley “Bow” Bridge

The Hadley "Bow Bridge, which was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1977, was constructed in 1885 atop masonry-built foundations to replace a burned 1813 timber covered bridge.

The Bow Bridge is an example of a lenticular or lens-shaped truss and is one of only two or three of the "half-through" or "semi-deck" variety. The bridge is unique because the bridge deck is located at the middle of trusses instead of at the top or bottom. The Bow Bridge is a stunning example of late-nineteenth century, early American bridge building and engineering ingenuity. The bridge was permanently closed to all traffic in 1983, effectively dividing the Town of Hadley in half.

Saratoga County planned to dismantle the superstructure after it was closed to vehicular and pedestrian use because of severe deterioration but delayed this action at the request of several historic preservation groups. Ryan Biggs | Clark Davis prepared a Historic Structures Report (HSR) describing the current condition of the bridge as well as several alternatives to rehabilitate the bridge for vehicular and pedestrian use. Using the HSR, the County applied for and received a Transportation Enhancement Grant from the Federal Highway Administration. Our work involved stabilization and rehabilitation of the existing bridge and construction of an independent structural system to support legal traffic loads. The work was approved by the NYS Historic Preservation Office, the Federal Highway Administration, and several historic preservation groups. The project was winner of Platinum Award for Engineering Excellence from the American Council of Engineering Companies of New York and a Bridge Achievement Award from Eastern New York Chapter of the Association for Bridge Construction and Design.

The newly restored bridge maintained its striking architectural beauty within the magnificent Sacandaga River Valley. It was dedicated on August 25, 2006.

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