Norwottuck Rail Trail Bridge
Coordinates42°20′14″N 72°37′07″W / 42.33722°N 72.61861°W / 42.33722; -72.61861
CarriesNorwottuck Rail Trail
CrossesConnecticut River
LocaleNorthampton, Massachusetts to Hadley, Massachusetts
Maintained byMassDOT
Designsteel lattice truss bridge[1]
Total lengthapproximately 1,492 feet (454.76 m)
Longest spanapproximately 200 feet (61 m)
Opened1887, 1992

The Norwottuck Rail Trail Bridge (also known as the Northampton Lattice Truss Bridge) is a former crossing of Boston and Maine Railroad over the Connecticut River in western Massachusetts, connecting the towns of Northampton and Hadley, by the Norwottuck Rail Trail, which is currently used for bicycle and foot traffic.


The Norwottuck Rail Trail Bridge is an eight-span steel lattice truss bridge. It crosses Elwell Island in the middle of the river, providing no access to the island in an attempt to keep the island otherwise untouched. Riding over the bridge shows eight spans, with two of them over Elwell Island. It was built by the R. F. Hawkins Ironworks Company.[2]

To survive the 1936 flood, railroad cars loaded with scrap metal were placed on the bridge to weigh it down.[3]

The bridge was redesigned by Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc. of Watertown, rebuilt by MassHighway, and opened in 1992 to bicycle and foot traffic as part of the Norwottuck Rail Trail.

See also


  1. ^ Northampton Lattice Truss Bridge at Structurae
  2. ^ Toomey, Daniel P. (1892). Massachusetts of Today: A Memorial of the State Historical and Biographical Issued for the World's Columbian Exposition at Chicago. Columbia. p. 347.Internet Archive
  3. ^ Hadley Online