Bardwell's Ferry Bridge

Bardwell's Ferry Bridge
Conway, Massachusetts


The Bardwell's Ferry Bridge is an 1882 wrought-iron span over the Deerfield River near Conway, Mass. The bridge consists of a single, spectacular 198-foot lenticular truss. According to a 1990 report on the bridge that is included in the Historic American Engineering Record, the span is "virtually unaltered" and is one of the oldest and longest lenticular-truss bridges remaining. Since 1990, it has been fitted with new guardrails designed to keep cars and trucks from bumping into the truss members.

Inside view

The bridge is one lane wide, with a wood deck. It has a 10-ton load limit, which appears to be adequate considering its remote location on a rural road.


To the uninitiated, the latticed endposts seem surprisingly light. The bridge was constructed by the Corrugated Metal Company of Berlin, Conn., which the following year changed its name to the Berlin Iron Bridge Company. According to Alan Lutenegger's lenticular-truss Web site, 56 of the company's bridges survive. (The best-known lenticular truss, however, is Pittsburgh's Smithfield Avenue Bridge, which was not built by the Berlin Iron Bridge Company.)


At close range, the bridge's pin connections are impressive.

Portrait shot


July, 2003