Belden Bly Bridge

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Belden G. Bly Bridge

Fox Hill Bridge
Coordinates42°27′3.0″N 70°58′44.5″W / 42.450833°N 70.979028°W / 42.450833; -70.979028Coordinates: 42°27′3.0″N 70°58′44.5″W / 42.450833°N 70.979028°W / 42.450833; -70.979028
CarriesSalem Turnpike / Western Ave. / MA State Route 107
CrossesSaugus River
Characteristics
Designcantilever bridge, Scherzer rolling lift
History
Fabrication byMassachusetts Department of Public Works
Construction end1912
ClosedNovember 9, 2013

Belden G. Bly Bridge originally known as the Fox Hill Bridge was built in 1912 and renamed in 1985 in honor of former member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives Belden Bly. It is the oldest cantilever bridge in the United States still in use as well as the oldest Scherzer Rolling Lift under the supervision of the Massachusetts Department of Public Works. Streetcar tracks originally ran across the bridge.

This bridge closed for several months for repairs on 15 December 2008. The MBTA bus routes 424, 450, 455 and 459 had their routes detoured through Austin Square in West Lynn through Ballard Street in Saugus.

The bridge was scheduled to be closed for replacement starting in early 2013, but problems with the temporary cable-lift draw bridge have delayed the project significantly. (On June 3, 2013 a hinge failed on the temporary draw span during what was supposed to have been final testing.) The temporary bridge was finally opened on Nov. 9, 2013, and the 1912 span is likely now closed permanently. (On Nov. 12 2013 the temporary bridge was stuck in the open position for many hours, so it is unclear if the 1912 bridge is truly ready for demolition.)

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