Thursday, June 23, 2011

Mill Dam Bridge in Centerport

Spanning the tidal-flats of Centerport Harbor, the Mill Dam Bridge has a history as old as our country itself. A tide-mill and dam were constructed here in 1774, which replaced an earlier mill built just south of this site in 1674.  Although the mill is long gone, the bridge and dam have been reincarnated several times in the last century. 
Its most recent form, built in 2005, may be the most inviting. Designed with accessibility and aesthetics in mind, there is stonework and detail often not found in public works today. At several points, the sidewalks widen to create viewing areas of both the harbor and the sluice gates below. Both ends of the bridge have small pocket-parks with benches, and various bric-a-brac. 

It's not just a utilitarian bridge and dam - it's a place to spend a little time. It's the Camden Yards of Long Island Sound bridges.

I suppose Centerport Harbor is one of those settings that would be beautiful regardless of the bridge which was built. Still, it is nice to see structures which compliment the surroundings, rather than detract. And it's especially heartening to see city fathers and planners trying to appeal to public-access kooks like me. 

Jarvis House: Mill Dam Bridge (Lori put together a collection of wintertime photos)
Boating Times: Centerport Harbor

photo credit: Wikipedia

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