Originally published in
Island Ad-Vantages, September 19, 2013
Deer Isle-Stonington students learn about the nearly 75-year-old bridge
In 2014, the Deer Isle-Sedgwick Bridge will be 75 years old.
Many island students have never seen the bridge up close, other than driving across it. Susan Guilford, librarian at the elementary school, said she and her husband Charles were watching boats go by under the bridge after the Fourth of July parade when she thought it might be a great fieldtrip for students.
On Monday, September 16, students from kindergarten through grade eight took turns visiting the Bridge Landing park and walking underneath the bridge at low tide.
Ken Sweeney, a retired Maine Department of Transportation bridge engineer, talked to groups of students and answered questions.
Sweeney said the Deer Isle-Sedgwick Bridge was his favorite.
“The reason the bridge is right here is that the engineers wanted to make the bridge as short as possible,” said Sweeney. “And the reason it is a suspension bridge is that it’s the only way they knew how to span this much distance at that time.”
The bridge is green, because bridges in the state are traditionally green. The bridge moves a foot or two in the wind, said Sweeney in response to one question. The “wings” on the side of the bridge were added after it was initially built to help cut down on sway.
“A lot of the material for the bridge came from right here,” said Sweeney.
Sweeney said he hopes the bridge is around for many more years. “I want this to be a forever bridge,” he said.