The French King Bridge is a stunning spandrel-braced steel deck arch bridge that crosses the Connecticut River. It is located on the border of the Massachusetts towns of Erving and Gill. The Massachusetts Department of Transportation owns and manages the bridge, which is part of Massachusetts Route 2. It carries automotive, bicycle, and pedestrian traffic.
On September 10, 1932, the French King Bridge was opened to traffic. The bridge was restored in 2008–2010 after being rehabilitated in 1992. It is 782 feet in length, 47.8 feet in width, and 140 feet in height. There are two lanes for automobiles in the center of the bridge and sidewalks on both sides. Because of its unusual position, the bridge’s unique structure was chosen. The high level of the crossing, the requirement to fit the bridge into this spectacular environment, and the dramatic conditions at the site, which included the height and steepness of the gorge’s sides, uneven depth, rocky bottom, and quick current of the river, all contributed to the design decision.
The French King Bridge is a renowned steel deck arch bridge. Its steel arch superstructure is graceful and lovely in and of itself. Furthermore, the bridge’s aesthetic features are enhanced by the attractive detailing of the concrete abutments, which contain decorative pillars that rise above the deck. The American Institute of Steel Construction named it the “Most Beautiful Steel Bridge” in 1932. The rehabilitation in 1992 was so tastefully executed that the bridge received the 1993 Massachusetts Historic Commission Preservation Award. The bridge’s name is derived from a nearby geographical feature known as French King Rock, which can be seen in the middle of the river.
Don’t miss seeing this iconic bridge along the Mohawk Trail in Western, Massachusetts! Looking for more great spots to explore nearby? Be sure to check out the GoXplr Massachusetts Map at goxplr.com/map/massachusetts!
- Construction start: 1931
- Construction end: 1932
- Carries: Route 2 (French King Highway)
- Crosses: Connecticut River
- Design/Style: Spandrel-braced steel deck arch bridge
- Total length: 782 feet
- Total width: 48 feet
- Clearance below: 135 feet
- Address: French King Hwy
- Town: Erving
- State: Massachusetts
- GPS: Lat 42.59767 Lng -72.49674
- Parking notes: There are several parking spots on both sides of French King Bridge. The parking spot to the west has more spaces and a gazebo with information about the location.
- Parking directions: HERE
- Location directions: HERE