The Old Drake Hill Flower Bridge to Receive Major Upgrades

Sept. 7, 2023
Originally built in 1892 as a one-way bridge, it spans 183 feet across the banks of the Farmington River and is 18 feet above it

In Simsbury, Connecticut, the Old Drake Hill Flower Bridge will be closing in October for the first time since 1995 for a major renovation project on the structure.

The bridge will close on October 16, and officials are expecting it to remain closed until the end of next summer, depending on weather conditions. The renovation project will cost approximately $1.5 million and will be funded through the town's capital improvement project.

Simsbury Deputy Town Engineer Adam Kessler said that the renovations have been planned for the last five or six years and are the first since the bridge was restored in 1995. That restoration cost about $575,000 with a federal grant that covered 80% of the costs.

Originally built in 1892 as a one-way bridge, it spans 183 feet across the banks of the Farmington River and is 18 feet above it.

The original bridge was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982. It was then replaced by a modern, two-lane bridge to the north of it in 1992.

The renovations are expected to begin in November or December, and will include removal of rust from the bridge's steel frame, additional steel if needed, irrigation replacement, replacing the wooden deck, and repainting the structure to the original green it was painted in 1995.

According to Kessler, the paint for the steel bridge is the main reason that the town stretched out the construction phase because the coatings that are used are sensitive to temperature and humidity swings.

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Source: SFGate.com