III. Bridges, Canals & Dams, Roads & Tunnels

I’ll admit, this isn’t everyone’s favorite page on the site. It’s not mine… But people DO love classic covered bridges. People go on weekend trips just to see them in Vermont and elsewhere. And, quite frankly, I’ve been trying to figure out how best to explore and present Connecticut’s canal past. I’ll do it, and you’ll read it. Who doesn’t love canals?

Jump to:
Canals & Dams
Roads & Tunnels

Hoang, Damian and the West Cornwall covered bridge



There are a surprising number of historic, unique and cool bridges in our small state. Heck, I was even sent a book all about the steel bridges in Connecticut. Lucky me… Lucky you.

Covered Bridges

I say “real” because there are other phony baloney covered bridges around… Heck, there’s one in the nursery behind my house. These are the 3 legitimately drivable bridges, even if the Comstock Bridge is no longer open to cars (and is being restored in 2010).

Comstock Covered Bridge, East Hampton/Colchester
West Cornwall Bridge, West Cornwall/Sharon
Bulls Bridge, Kent

Brooklyn (info)

Interesting story on a now-gone covered bridge that connected Enfield to Suffield.

Other Bridges of Note:

Frog Bridge, Willimantic
Bulkeley Bridge, The Largest stone arch bridge in the world, Hartford
The Most Beautiful Bridge, Lebanon
Hole in the Wall Bridge, Niantic

Victorian Footbridge, Willimantic
Oldest known free-standing stone arch bridge, Lisbon (Washed away 3/31/2010)
First skew-arch in US, Yalesville Underpass (Info)
Oldest bascule drawbridge in US, Mystic
Drake Hill Road Flower Bridge, Simsbury (Info)
Oldest remaining concrete bridge in CT, N. Main St, W. Hartford (Info)

Great info on all of CT’s historic bridges, by friend of CTMQ Bruce Clouette

Bulkeley Bridge, Hartford/East Hartford


Canals & Dams

I blame my dad for instilling a fascination with canals and locks. Of course, there are no longer any functional canals in Connecticut, but the Farmington Canal Path from New Haven through Suffield exists in various forms and the remnants of the Enfield Falls Canal are with us forever, in the names of Windsor Locks and Warehouse Point.

Farmington Canal Heritage Trail, New Haven to Suffield
Farmington River Trail, Farmington to Simsbury
Enfield Falls Canal, Windsor Locks and Suffield
Lock Number 12, Cheshire
Lock Number 13, Hamden

Canal through Derby (Info)

US Corps of Army Engineers Tour of Mansfield Hollow Dam, Mansfield
US Corps of Army Engineers Tour of West Thompson Dam, Mansfield
Greeneville DamFish Ladder, Norwich
Rainbow Dam Fishway, Granby
Tingue Dam/Kinneytown Fishway, Naugatuck
Shepaug Dam, Southbury (Bald Eagle viewing)


Roads & Tunnels:

Roads? Yes, roads. I’ll find some fun stuff…After all, I drive on enough of ‘em.

NY 120A, Greenwich, (In Connecticut!)
Merritt Parkway Museum, Stratford
National Scenic Road, Route 169, Quiet Corner

Great article on Connecticut’s love affair with naming ever road section after someone you’ve never heard of.



We don’t have too many tunnels in the state, but I’ll find enough interesting stuff to make this section worthwhile.

Tunnel of Doom, Vernon
Heroes (West Rock) Tunnel, New Haven
Taft Tunnel (Oldest Railroad tunnel in US), Lisbon
Old Park River tunnels, Hartford
Shepaug Tunnel, Washington (Info)

4 responses to “III. Bridges, Canals & Dams, Roads & Tunnels”

  1. Joseph J. Alexander says:

    Any chance on ever writing a piece on the “Bridges to Nowhere” over on the Farmington/West Hartford line overlooking I-84?

  2. Tom Fatone says:

    Be sure to check out The Bridge to No where. If you are traveling south on Route 15(Merrit Parkway) its just past exit 49. Its an old railbridge, that use to host Rocky Hill Road and also a for a while the Peqonnock Rail Road which ran from Bridgeport to Brookfield and even up to Mass. To access this bridge though you have to come from Route 25 south and exit the that highway at exit 8. This exit spilts, so be sure to go to left to Route 15 North. Just before the bend ends, there will be a parking space on the left and a giant rock that blocks the once path. It is here, were you carefully park and exit your car. Walk past the rock and it will lead you to the bridge over Route 15. This one day will be part of the Rails to Trails which people will be able to hike,run or bike on what once the train ran. Can’t wait for that day.

  3. Tom Fatone says:

    Did the Shepaug Tunnel this past weekend during a hike in Washington. Boy was it cold!!! Anyway,go on Tunnel Road as far as you can go. The trail starts right there with the river to your right. Continue to hike south, with the river on your right. You will eventually see the railroad trail on your left and at times they run right next to each other. At about 1.4 miles in to your hike you will see an opening on your left. Walk in there and look for the railroad trail and take a right. About 2/10 of a mile away is the tunnel. What a sight!!! Wow……how did one build this back in the 1870′s? Ice Cycles ran down from above and along the side of the rock. Everybody on the hike was amazed at this structure. Its only 1.7 miles from the parking lot making for a 3.4 complete hike. Be sure to check it out and then go back to the center of Washington Depot for lunch at Marty’s Cafe.

  4. Rachel says:

    If you are travelling South on Rt 9, and get off the exit in Crowell (19 I believe) ir you look to your right while on the exit ramp there is a rock with a bronze (?) Plaque on it, halfway between the ramp and Shunpike road which runs parallel to the ramp. Any idea what it says? I tried walking down there from the Kmart parking lot, but the ground was too soggy and wet to get to it. Its been driving me nuts for quite some time.

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