By Edith Tucker
January 27, 2016
BERLIN — The signs went up at the historic Steel Truss Bridge over the Dead River on Monday, Jan. 18. The bridge, which was completely rehabbed and put in place on Aug. 22, 2014 by hard-working White Mountain Ridge Runners (WMRR) snowmobile club volunteers, is open to snowmobile and foot traffic, providing recreational access to the rear of the Notre Dame Arena and other local businesses.
The WMRR spent four days in the spring of 2014 restoring the historic Paris Road truss bridge. The steel bridge, stamped with the name Carnegie (Steel Company of Pittsburgh, Pa.) that produced steel from 1892 to 1901 under that name, was used for many years in Stark, and Harley Mason bought it after the state installed a new Paris Road bridge.
The snowmobile club bought it from him in 2013 to use as a replacement for the no-longer-useable bridge in back of the Arena. Smith & Town printers donated a handsome sign that details the bridge’s history. The Parallel Chord Pratt Truss bridge is 45 feet, and 6 inches in length and 13 feet, 8 inches wide.
The bridge, likely first installed in Concord, was moved to the southern end of Paris Road in Stark during the 1970s and then removed in 2000 by the state.
The financial contributions of both Steven and Penny Binette and their children, Rylie and Dalton, are warmly acknowledged.
Other donors are also thanked: Ray’s Electric of Berlin, for use of its front-end loader and backhoe for building ramps, plus trucking cement blocks for new abutments; MG Excavation of Berlin, use of two excavators and dump truck for site preparation, plus abutment and bridge installation; Mason Enterprises of Milan for excavator and frontend loader; Chapman Steel & Demolition of Gorham for transporting the bridge from Stark to Berlin; Berlin Water Works for entrance ramp fill and excavator for bridge installation; Berlin Spring of Berlin, welding repairs and steel bracing needed for transport; Pro Quip for discounting cost of sand blasting equipment; Sanel of Berlin for discounting cost of blasting media; and S & L Logging of Berlin for trucking away old steel beams from bridge site.
The Berlin Public Library at 270 Main St. received a $17,000 grant on Dec. 27, 1902, from the Carnegie Corporation of New York to help pay for the handsome building still in use for its original purpose. Andrew Carnegie sold the Carnegie Steel Company to U.S. Steel in 1901 and then turned his attention and astonishingly large fortune to philanthropy.
The Binette family gathers to install the new signs that are being put up for the historic truss bridge behind the arena.
The bridge signs were donated by Smith and Town Printers and reflect the style of the historic bridge.