The Penobscot Narrows Bridge is an iconic bridge that connects Verona Island to Prospect, Maine. The bridge was opened in 2006 as an emergency replacement for the Waldo–Hancock Bridge which was built in 1931. The Waldo–Hancock Bridge needed to be replaced because the bridge deck had two major suspension cables that were extremely corroded. The Penobscot Narrows Bridge went from conception to completion in just 42 months.
The Penobscot Narrows Bridge spans 2,120 feet and allows vehicles to cross the Penobscot River using US 1 / SR 3. Because of its cable-stayed architecture, the bridge is one-of-a-kind. It’s one of just three cradle system bridges in the country that have lately been built. The strands within the stays are carried as a continuous piece from bridge deck to bridge deck, avoiding anchorages in the pylons. A one-inch steel tube carries each epoxy-coated steel strand inside the cradle. Individual strands can be removed, inspected, and replaced because they work separately. To prevent corrosion, the cable-stay system was developed with a system that employs pressured nitrogen gas.
The Penobscot Narrows Observatory is located at the top of one of the bridge columns. This was the world’s first bridge observatory to be constructed. It has remained the world’s tallest bridge observatory to this day. Visitors are able to get a stunning view of the surrodning area from the 420-foot tall observatory. Great views of Fort Knox State Historic Site, the Penobscot River, and the Bay are all on display from above. On Saturday, May 19, 2007, the Penobscot Narrows Observatory opened to the general public. It is open at the same times as Fort Knox throughout the year (May 1 to October 31). It also has the quickest elevator in the state of Maine.
Looking for more great spots to explore nearby? Check out the GoXplr Maine Map at goxplr.com/map/maine!
- Constructed: 2006
- Carries: US 1 / SR 3
- Crosses: Penobscot River
- Design/Style: Cable-stayed bridge
- Total length: 2120 feet
- Total width: 58 feet
- Clearance below: 135 feet
- Address: US-1
- Town: Stockton Springs
- State: Maine
- GPS: Lat 44.56025 Lng -68.80246
- Parking notes: There is an overlook parking lot along US-1 (Acadia Highway) located just south of the bridge. There is also parking at the nearby Fort Knox Historic Site. There is a small entrance fee per visitor at Fort Knox, but parking is free during the off-season months.
- Parking directions: HERE
- Location directions: HERE
External Website: https://www.fortknoxmaine.com/