Cribari Bridge Opening: A Bird’s-Eye View

We all know that the Cribari Bridge is a functioning “swing bridge” — the oldest of its kind in the state, still going strong at 135 years old.

How strong?

Recent Staples High School graduate Brandon Malin headed to Saugatuck yesterday morning with his drone, to find out.

It’s a great perspective. As Brandon notes, “It’s remarkable how fast they do it. for such an old bridge.” The full cycle takes just over 5 minutes.

Click below for a view of Westport you’ve likely never seen.

Unless you’re a bird.

12 responses to “Cribari Bridge Opening: A Bird’s-Eye View

  1. Jill Turner-Odice

    Pretty cool!

  2. Cool video. Here is a time-lapse I made years and years ago, from a different perspective, but the same boat passing: https://imgur.com/a/9EhK0WG

  3. This is the first time I’ve realized that a drone can take motion pictures while staying still. I’m not sure how that’s done. But amazing!

    • Tom Duquette, SHS '75

      Most of the quad copter type of drones like DJI use GPS to hover and hold a static position.

  4. Cool video. Minor adjustment: Westport’s Cribari Bridge is documented to be the oldest, active span of its type in the nation.

  5. Ken Gilbertie

    Before the early 90’s renovation, it was opened manually. The DOT crew would put a large T-Bar in a keyway and 2 guys on each side would push in a circle and open and close the bridge. Now one guy can do it with and electric motor. One time as I was walking across the bridge heading home from school, they let me and a couple of other kids stand on the walk way as it opened and closed. A different time, that would never happen today.

    • As I recall from speaking with the very nice crew that comes over from Norwalk to open the bridge, apparently it’s still technically possible to open the bridge by hand as Ken describes. Only they now bring some kind of crazy powerful cordless impact driver with them in case the primary electric motor fails. I think we should find that old T handle and have an annual summer contest to see who can manually open the bridge the fastest. It could Westport’s version of the hammer throw.

  6. Curious as to why a very generic boat was what went through… confusing..
    I figured it was for emergencies only.. traffic sucks bad enough in Westport.. we can’t possibly care about boats and bridges closing..
    great footage. But sorry..

  7. Are we to assume as same boat passing it’s someone “in the know” or that we just request life as we knew it to stand still while we have the bridge opened.. let’s se with more requests/demands how long that lasts.. and what chaos it will cause but absolutely what’s good for one must be good for all 🙂

  8. Odd that it takes a police cruiser to block traffic. Are they afraid an impatient/entitled Westporter might try and crash the barriers and “jump” the opening bridge?
    Also, hope they remember to disconnect the Al’s Angels’ holiday lights!

    • Werner Liepolt

      It is unfortunate, expensive, and uncalled for. People waiting used to get out of their cars to watch the opening. Now they’re detoured to the thruway from the East and up Imperial Ave from Westport giving them a twenty minute detour instead of a five minute wait. It costs the town $200 an opening. I don’t think there’s a legal mandate, but I’m not sure.

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