Suncook Valley RR/US Route 3 Overpass
This web page dedicated to the memory of
David E. Powellson, 1956-2016
Chief of Existing Bridges, NHDOT.
In 1931, the State of NH was building the Daniel Webster Highway, US Route 3, between Manchester and Concord, NH. The alignment chosen by the state was to pass over the Suncook Valley Railroad in Allenstown near the old Chester Turnpike, and just west of Bailey's Lumber, at the time one of the railroad's largest customers.
1923 Sanborn Map excerpt, showing roads and tracks prior to US Rt 3 construction.
While the state originally intended to install a level grade crossing, it was soon determined that such a crossing would create unreasonable traffic delays when the railroad was switching Bailey's. Instead, NH Highway Department engineers went back to the drawing board and came up with a simple steel plate girder bridge on which the railroad would pass over the new concrete highway. Installed on concrete abutments later that year, the bridge had a span of 27'6", a clear width of 24', and a clear height of 14' for highway traffic.
Rt 3 Underpass Plans (Click for full size)
New Hampshire State Highway Department Bridge Card with notes and photo- 4.4 MB PDF
May 5, 1951 USGS aerial survey photo
The bridge was removed in 1956, after the railroad ceased to operate.
Posted 1/4/16. Maintained by Earl Tuson.