Friday Flashback #158

Most Friday Flashbacks show how much our town changes over the years.

This one demonstrates how much it stays the same.

The aerial photo of the I-95 and railroad bridges seems like it could have been taken yesterday. In fact, it’s from 1977 — more than 40 years ago.

There’s something very familiar and reassuring about this shot.

Time marches on. But some parts of Westport are timeless.

(Hat tip: Seth Schachter)


17 responses to “Friday Flashback #158

  1. Is that ths Saugatuck River?

  2. Adrian J Little

    Except if you took it yesterday the traffic on the bridge would be WAY worse.

  3. It’s an interesting picture but it would have been better taken from just a little higher up. Then we would have a better view of the Bridge Street Bridge (as it was called then).

  4. Adrian J Little

    If you took that photo yesterday the traffic on I95 would look a lot worse so not sure what is so timeless!

  5. J. (Jack) Wandres

    I had been living in San Francisco in 1959 but was called back to Westport to settle the estate of my father who had died several years earlier. I rented a room in the house at 7 Sunrise Rd. (the house with the cupola) and from the cupola had a great view of the bridge being built over the river for the then- Connecticut Turnpike (before it became I-95). It looked so “fragile” on top of its piers, but majestic, too. There was an informal group of “sidewalk Superintendents” who would gather on the abutment to the bridge after working hours. We would provide “expert” assessments on the design of the piers, with projections on how many years or decades the bridge would last — all very “professional,” of course. Here in Portland, OR where I live today, there is a similar claque of “professionals” who comment on the once and future CRC — The Columbia River Crossing that may…or may not…be built sometime this century.

    • The same design was used on the Mianus River bridge in Greenwich, a section of which did collapse in the early ’80s. It’s also interesting that the parallel railroad bridge in Greenwich does not have wires over the draw–trains have to glide through it.

  6. David Stalling

    Cool shot! It would be interesting to compare, side-by-side, a recent photo from the same height and angle.

  7. Bonnie Bradley

    In the interest in Westport’s history of I-95:
    In her recent comment on the nefarious activities of the WHS, Mary Schmerker made reference to my father J. Kenneth Bradley’s efforts to rein in the exuberance of the State of Connecticut as I-95 was constructed through Westport in 1959. JKB was a senior partner of the Bridgeport law firm, then called Pullman and Comley.

    Here’s what I remember: In it’s construction the state came through Westport and Saugatuck like a great crushing avalanche, tearing up and throwing aside stores, homes, property and everything else in it’s path.

    Ken Bradley fought for several threatened families and succeeded in saving their homes and properties from destruction.

    More important to the town itself, he was absolutely determined to stop the state in its plan to dump the hundreds of tons of spoils (dirt, trees, pavement, etc.) generated during the construction from being conveniently dumped into the Mill Pond, thereby destroying the pond, filling it in and obliterating it completely, forever. And, he was successful.

    I was only seventeen at the time and my father never talked about his private clients or cases at home but saving the pond was an exception…
    He was like a force of nature in his resolve. I was and am very proud of him for his determination.

    • Interesting! Makes me wonder where the state DID dump all the excess material and in other towns as well. There are plans now to widen I-95 – how they do that with bridges and thru towns will create many problems. It’s not going to be pretty!

    • Fascinating! I never heard that story, or knew of the threat to Sherwood Mill Pond. Thanks for letting us know, Bonnie — and (very) belated thanks to your father for his fantastic, far-reaching efforts.

    • Mr Dunham and Mr Barlow
      You’re correct it went to Saugatuck Shores
      I found another Flashback Friday with Chip Stephen’s stating the fill from I-95 made what became Saugatuck Shores

  8. Bonnie Bradley

    All I know is that the state did have to truck away all the spoils which they had intended to dump in the Mill Pond. I’ve wondered where to myself. Maybe to an abandoned quarry…

    And I should have mentioned that he obviously was not alone in the effort. Many other Westport residents must have been working to save the pond. I only remember my father ranting and raving around the house about the issue.

  9. I wonder if anyone has info on the following, about which I know, only apocryphally (Wow! never used that word before): When the former NY, NH, & H railroad put the railroad across the river, they built the eastern abutment. (Leading to New Haven) out of hundreds of junked vehicles crushed into lumps of rusting iron. To Peter Barlow: It may be DOT will erect an upper level built on the bones of the existing bridge. It’s been done elsewhere.