The town of Northfield first authorized a bridge at or near the site of the current bridge in 1810. The bridge was built by a private corporation with the town holding stock. The new bridge was destroyed in a flood after only a few years. A horse boat ferry, known as Bennett's Meadow Ferry, replaced the river crossing. In 1897, the state legislature authorized Franklin County to construct a second bridge at or near the site of the ferry at a cost not to exceed $35,000. The new bridge was designed by Edward Shaw of Boston and was opened to traffic in 1899. The bridge was one of the first bridges erected by a then novel method without the use of false works that has since become standard procedure. The 1899 bridge was later demolished and a third bridge (the current bridge) was constructed just south of the former bridge, resulting also in the slight realignment of the highway.