Davis Landing BridgeDavis Landing Bridge
1 of 26 bridges that were rebuilt by the New Deal following a 500 year flood in March 1936. The bridge is a Concrete slab structure over the West Branch of the Cousins River. From the design of the guard rails, it looks as if the New Deal bridge was replaced recently. The abutments however look to be of an older design utilizing cut granite, possibly from 1917 when the state replaced an “extremely dangerous” bridge.
According to a 2004 Maine DOT Historic Bridge Survey, Phase II Final Report & Historic Context, the “March 1936 flood was one of the most destructive, resulting in the loss or damage of an estimated 150 bridges in Maine, believed to be the hardest hit of the New England states due to the force of the flood and crest of the ice pack on the Saco, Androscoggin, Kennebec, and Penobscot rivers. Assistance to the affected states in repairing and replacing bridges was given by the PWA through the U.S. Works Program Flood Replacement Project. The project totaled about $2.5 million of which about half was distributed to Maine.
Reconstruction or replacement of the flood-lost bridges was handled as a joint effort by the Public Works Administration (PWA) and the state highway commission. In general, smaller bridges were built by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) using its labor forces directed by regional and county administrators, and the larger bridges were handled like ordinary federal aid projects with the design and construction supervised by the state highway commission under the direction of the Bureau of Public Roads (BPR) with the PWA merely acting as a fiscal agent. Of the estimated 150 damaged or lost bridges in Maine, 17 were considered major crossings of large rivers. Reports noted that 16 of the 17 major bridges lost were light wood or metal truss bridges where the crest of the flood knocked them off their piers or caused scour resulting in pier settlement and collapse. It is interesting to note that most of these bridges were already in the state work program or identified as deficient. The only new major bridge to be heavily damaged by the flooding was the Kennebec Bridge at Richmond, built in 1931, which lost three of its six spans.”
2004 Maine DOT Historic Bridge Survey, Phase II Final Report & Historic Context
Project originally submitted by Andrew Laverdiere on September 30, 2021.
We welcome contributions of additional information on any New Deal project site.SUBMIT MORE INFORMATION OR PHOTOGRAPHS FOR THIS SITE