About this Project
Designed to accommodate pedestrians, bicyclists, runners and equestrians, the 126-foot-long Fitch's Bridge crosses the Nashua River and provides a contiguous link for the extensive trail system in the town of Groton, Massachusetts.
FST provided design and construction services for construction for the prefabricated, steel pedestrian bridge. It replaces a rivet-connected steel truss bridge that was built in 1898 and closed to traffic in 1965 due to lack of structural integrity.
The bridge structure is designed to be maintenance free for a long service life. The truss is composed of weathering steel that will not corrode over time nor require a paint coating. After initial formation of the rust patina on the steel surface, no future maintenance will be required.
The timber decking and railing is made from IPE timber, an extremely hard and rot-resistant timber species that will complement the weathering steel of the truss.
The bridge seats and backwalls of the two historic stone masonry abutments were modified to accommodate the new bridge superstructure. Based on the condition of one of the two abutments, the project team pressure-grouted the stone masonry joints of both abutments.
Working with Groton town committees and Town Manager, FST completed the final design – including permitting – within six weeks from the notice to proceed.
The project contractor lifted and removed the existing steel truss off the abutments, pressure-grouted the two abutments, cast the new bridge seats and lifted and installed the new steel truss bridge onto the modified abutments.
Owner: Town of Groton
Location: Groton, Massachusetts
Highlights: Fitch's Bridge, which the Lowell Sun newspaper called "a work of art," was officially opened to the public in a ribbon-cutting ceremony on September 15, 2013. Designed to accommodate pedestrians, bicyclists, runners and equestrians, the 126-foot-long Fitch's Bridge crosses the Nashua River and provides a contiguous link for the extensive trail system in the town of Groton, Massachusetts.