Chain Bridge (Massachusetts)

Chain Bridge (Massachusetts)
Chain Bridge

Chain Bridge, 1990
Official name Essex-Merrimac Bridge
Carries Vehicular and pedestrian traffic
Crosses Merrimack River
Locale Newburyport, Massachusetts
Designer George Fillmore Swain & Robert R. Evans
Longest span 225 feet
Number of spans 1
Construction begin 1909
Construction end 1910
Toll No

The Chain Bridge is a 225-foot, single-span suspension bridge, which crosses the right branch of the Merrimack River flowing around Deer Island. As the boundary between the city of Newburyport and the town of Amesbury, Massachusetts runs through Deer Island, Chain Bridge does connect the two communities. To cross from the island to the left bank of the Merrimack requires traversing the Derek S. Hines Memorial Bridge, formerly the Essex-Merrimack Drawbridge.[1] As the Chain Bridge is better known because of its structure, it is often incorrectly represented in literature as a single bridge spanning the Merrimack.

The current span was completed in 1910 at the site of two previous bridges. The first was a timber-arch truss which existed between 1792 and 1810. It was replaced in 1810 by a wrought-iron chain suspension bridge.[2] This was replaced by the current span in 1909, which is still referred to as "Chain Bridge".[3]

The Chain Bridge is the only suspension bridge currently maintained by the Massachusetts Highway Department. In 1990 the bridge was part of a state-wide survey as part of the Massachusetts Historic Bridge Recording Project. It has undergone several renovations, most recently in 2003.[4]

The bridge was also used for a stunt shown in an episode of the 1980s television show "Spenser: For Hire".


Coordinates: 42°50′1.4″N 70°54′24.1″W / 42.833722°N 70.906694°W / 42.833722; -70.906694

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