Deer Isle-Sedgwick Bridge construction, ca. 1938

Contributed by Penobscot Marine Museum


The only bridge to Deer Isle was opened in 1939. Until then a ferry service, begun in 1792 by Nathaniel Scott and operated by his descendants for 150 years, transported people and goods.

Paved roads and automobiles came late to the island because a busy network of steamboats connected with mainland locations. However, with steamer service declining and tourism increasing, by the 1930s the time had come to build a bridge.

Holton D. Robinson and David B. Steinman, who had built the Waldo-Hancock Bridge over the Penobscot River in 1931, designed the 1,088-foot suspension bridge over the Eggemoggin Reach.

Their challenges were numerous: wind and stability issues, substantial tides, a necessary minimum 85-foot underclearance midway across a 200-foot channel to accommodate tall masts, a required early summer completion date necessitating winter work, and a limited budget.

The project used a number of problem-solving innovations, including off-site prefabrication of the forms for the tower pedestals and cofferdams, utilization of pre-stressed twisted strand cables and new connection methods, and construction of a steep approach and shorter-than-usual vertical curve at the center to provide clearance.

The bridge, financed as a Depression-era public works project, was completed in March 1939. Vehicles paid a toll for many years.

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About This Item

  • Title: Deer Isle-Sedgwick Bridge construction, ca. 1938
  • Creator: Eastern Illustrating and Publishing Company
  • Creation Date: circa 1938
  • Subject Date: circa 1938
  • Town: Deer Isle, Sedgwick
  • County: Hancock
  • State: ME
  • Media: Glass Negative
  • Dimensions: 12.75 cm x 17.75 cm
  • Local Code: LB2007.1.106490
  • Collection: Eastern Illustrating and Publishing Company
  • Object Type: Image

For more information about this item, contact:

Penobscot Marine Museum
PO Box 498, 5 Church Street, Searsport, ME 04974
(207) 548-2529

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