SWIFT RIVER BRIDGE
Conway, New Hampshire

bridge

Location:
One-half mile north of N.H. Route 16 at Conway Village over the Swift River.
Style of Bridge:
Paddleford truss with added arches
Year of Construction:
1870
Original Cost:
Unknown
Structural Characteristics:
The bridge is 129'4" long with a clear span of 110'6". It has an overall width of 21'0" with a roadway width of 17'2", and a minimum vertical clearance of 13'2". The structure is closed to vehicular traffic.
Maintained By:
Town of Conway
World Guide Number:
29-02-05
New Hampshire Number:
47

bridge             bridge

Historical Remarks:
The first bridge on this site was built by John Douglass in 1850. It gave much needed access to the north using West Side Road and served local commerce well until the spring of 1869. At that time, heavy rains swelled the river and the raging waters lifted the bridge from its foundation, turned it around, and sent it rapidly downstream into the Saco River Covered Bridge knocking it off its moorings. Both damaged structures broke up and came to rest two miles downstream. In a striking demonstration of Yankee thrift, much of the lumber salvaged from these two bridges was used in the building of the new Swift River Covered Bridge constructed by Jacob Berry and his son Jacob Jr. The current bridge was bypassed when a new concrete and steel bridge was built nearby in 1974. The Swift River Bridge is eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places.

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Table of Contents

New Hampshire Bridges

New Hampshire Covered Bridges
Compiled and edited by
Richard G. Marshall
Chief System Planning
New Hampshire Department of Transportation
Color photographs by Arthur F. Rounds
1994