Facts about the bridge
It’s officially endangered. In October of 2014, Preservation Massachusetts recognized that the Bogastow Brook Viaduct is one of Massachusetts’ Most Endangered Historic Resources.
It’s in the Library of Congress, photographed as a unique part of the Historic American Engineering Record.
It’s part of our heritage. Irish immigrants, working for the Boston and Worcester Railroad, built this branch to Milford in 1846. While some workers spent a year cutting through the hill at Highland Street, others needed to find work. They took jobs in factories, fueled local industry and transformed the town’s demography forever.
Notes on construction: In the day, all arch stones were split and chiseled to fit closely and to be strong without the use of mortar. Once the stones were in place, any open joints were grouted with mortar, not for structural value, but to prevent water and vegetation from doing damage. (This is what has deteriorated.) The main components of each arch are two abutments and a keystone. The abutment stones are on either side of the arch and bear the weight and downward pressure. The keystone is the top center stone and is the last to be placed when building the arch. There is an old saying “The arch never sleeps”… meaning it is always under pressure to flatten out.