French King Bridge

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French King Bridge
French King Bridge Panorama1.jpg
Coordinates 42°35′52″N 72°29′48″W / 42.59778°N 72.49667°W / 42.59778; -72.49667Coordinates: 42°35′52″N 72°29′48″W / 42.59778°N 72.49667°W / 42.59778; -72.49667
Carries Route 2 pedestrian and vehicular traffic
Crosses Connecticut River
Locale Gill, Massachusetts, and Erving, Massachusetts
Maintained by MassDOT
ID number E-10-014 or G-04-009
Design Spandrel-braced steel deck arch bridge
Total length 782 ft (238.4 m)
Width 47.8 ft (14.57 m)
Height 140 feet (43 m)[1]
Longest span 460 ft (140.2 m)
Construction start September 1931
Construction end 1932
Opened September 10, 1932
French King Bridge is located in Massachusetts
French King Bridge
French King Bridge
Location in Massachusetts

The French King Bridge is the three-span "cantilever arch" bridge[2] that crosses the Connecticut River on the border between the towns of Erving and Gill, Massachusetts. The bridge, part of Massachusetts Route 2, carries automobile, bicycle, and pedestrian traffic and is owned and managed by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT).


The French King Bridge (FKB) was opened to traffic on September 10, 1932. It was named the "Most Beautiful Steel Bridge" of 1932 by the American Institute of Steel Construction. The bridge was rebuilt in 1992, and refurbished in 2008–2010.[3][4]


In 2009, police said that between 26 and 31 people were known to have leapt from the bridge since its construction in 1932, with four survivors.[5]


The name comes from a nearby geographic feature named French King Rock.

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  1. ^ Federal Writers' Project (1937). Massachusetts: A Guide to Its Places and People. American Guide Series. Boston, Massachusetts: Houghton Mifflin Company. p. 453. 
  2. ^ Massachusetts Highway Department. "French King Bridge". Boston, Massachusetts: Massachusetts Executive Office of Transportation. Retrieved 2009-09-02. It is of engineering interest as an unusual development of the uncommon three-span, "cantilever arch" bridge type, in that definite reactions were jacked into its steel work at the conclusion of construction, resulting in a bridge which is structurally continuous across four supports. 
  3. ^ Project 603723R contract granted
  4. ^ Project status page
  5. ^ [1](subscription required)