The Cribstone Bridge
The Bailey Island Cribstone Bridge is a one of a kind in the world. Built in 1927 and held together with gravity alone, this engineering marvel is something to behold. I took my little boat to the bridge to give you a better look at what this bridge looks like and to see why it’s so amazing that it has withstood the elements for so many years. The current and tides not to mention the storms of the the Maine Coast have beaten on the bridge relentlessly for all these year. She stood up well and provided a safe access to Bailey Island. The Cribstone Bridge is being repaired now. They have built a temporary bridge that runs along side of the National Landmark. The hope is to have the bridge back in use in 2010.
Some 10,000 tons of granite were used in the project.
The design for the 1,150 foot bridge presented some unique problems because of the tides in the area. It was decided to build a crib bridge using granite slabs from nearby quarries, similar in design to a bridge that had been observed in Scotland and no longer exists. The granite slabs were sufficiently heavy enough to withstand the pounding of wind and waves and the open cribbing or cellular construction permitted the tide to ebb and flow freely with out increasing the normal tidal current to any great degree.
The span between connecting the two towers has been removed for repairs.
On July 19th,1984 the Bailey Island bridge was dedicated as a historic civil engineering landmark, The bridge is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Cribstone Bridge was reopened to the public in November 2010. There were many speeches, ribbon cutting ceremony and an antique car parade crossing the bridge to open the way for public use once again.