News Archive 2009-2018

Bowdoin Senior Reports on Fight to Save Iconic Topsham-Brunswick Bridge in Down East Magazine Archives

The Green Bridge, looking toward Brunswick and the Fort Andross Mill

Locally known as the Green Bridge, the 1932 steel-trussed bridge that spans the Androscoggin River between Topsham and Brunswick is rusting and its green paint is peeling. More worryingly, the bridge’s floor system is failing, its crossbeams are deteriorated, and the sidewalk supports have corroded. Maine’s Department of Transportation is set on replacing it with something sturdier.

Carly Berlin ’18

But this plan is upsetting a group of locals who want to preserve what they consider to be a beautiful and historical landmark. “…[The bridge’s] rusty steel trusses echo a time when the mills on either side still churned out paper and textiles. Photographers love how it frames sunsets and how, at night, electric light glints off the water below. Its profile adorned the local phone book last year,” senior Carly Berlin writes for Down East magazine. 

As Berlin investigated this conflict, she found that across Maine, it’s not uncommon for people living in small towns to get attached to their local bridges, and to resist their replacement.

She originally wrote the article for an assignment in Russ Rymer’s spring writing course, Art of Writing about Science. She adapted it for Down East with the help of Will Grunewald ’10, who is an associate editor at the magazine.

Read Berlin’s article.

3 thoughts on “Bowdoin Senior Reports on Fight to Save Iconic Topsham-Brunswick Bridge in Down East Magazine

  1. Dale Tomlinson '70

    I have to agree with the sentiments to preserve as much of the original style as possible, but meeting current codes and traffic loads which the Maine DOT will do. The bridge is a classic; we have a similar one (but shorter, only one span) here in Phoenix, NY, a mile from my house, over the Oswego River that was built in 1910 and refurbished about 15 years ago; it was one lane then and now, but the sidewalks are better and the supports were rebuilt in places. These things grow on you.

  2. Paul Whitcomb

    This bridge is a creaky, nasty eye-sore built by the W.P.A. in the late 30’s. It’d be nice if they could find a scrap yard that would dismantle it and take it away for free, at no cost to the tax-payer.
    Go online and check out some of the new, modern, amazing bridge designs!
    It supplied some jobs for people who needed them. That’s about the most that can be said for it. Now, let it supply some more jobs for people who need them.

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