French King Bridge

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French King Bridge
French King Bridge Panorama1.jpg
Coordinates 42°35′52″N72°29′48″W / 42.59778°N 72.49667°W / 42.59778; -72.49667 Coordinates: 42°35′52″N72°29′48″W / 42.59778°N 72.49667°W / 42.59778; -72.49667
CarriesMA Route 2.svg Route 2 pedestrian and vehicular traffic
Crosses Connecticut River
Locale Gill, Massachusetts, and Erving, Massachusetts
Maintained by MassDOT
ID number E-10-014 or G-04-009
Design Spandrel-braced steel deck arch bridge
Total length782 ft (238.4 m)
Width47.8 ft (14.57 m)
Height140 feet (43 m) [1]
Longest span460 ft (140.2 m)
Construction startSeptember 1931
Construction end1932
OpenedSeptember 10, 1932
USA Massachusetts location map.svg
Red pog.svg
French King Bridge
Location in Massachusetts

The French King Bridge is the three-span "cantilever arch" bridge [2] that crosses the Connecticut River on the border between the towns of Erving and Gill, Massachusetts, United States. The bridge, part of Massachusetts Route 2, carries automobile, bicycle, and pedestrian traffic and is owned and managed by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT).

Connecticut River river in the New England region of the United States

The Connecticut River is the longest river in the New England region of the United States, flowing roughly southward for 406 miles (653 km) through four states. It rises at the U.S. border with Quebec, Canada, and discharges at Long Island Sound. Its watershed encompasses five U.S. states and one Canadian province, 11,260 square miles (29,200 km2) via 148 tributaries, 38 of which are major rivers. It produces 70% of Long Island Sound's fresh water, discharging at 19,600 cubic feet (560 m3) per second.

Erving, Massachusetts Town in Massachusetts, United States

Erving is a town in Franklin County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 1,800 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Springfield, Massachusetts metropolitan statistical area.

Gill, Massachusetts Town in Massachusetts, United States

Gill is a town in Franklin County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 1,500 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Springfield, Massachusetts Metropolitan Statistical Area. The campus of Northfield Mount Hermon School is located in the Mount Hermon section of the town.


French King Bridge French King Bridge Aerial.jpg
French King Bridge


The French King Bridge (FKB) was opened to traffic on September 10, 1932. It was named the "Most Beautiful Steel Bridge" of 1932 by the American Institute of Steel Construction. The bridge was rebuilt in 1992, and refurbished in 2008–2010. [3] [4]

American Institute of Steel Construction

The American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) is a not-for-profit technical institute and trade association for the use of structural steel in the construction industry of the United States.


In 2009, police said that between 26 and 31 people were known to have jumped off the bridge since its construction in 1932, with four survivors. [5]


The name comes from a nearby geographic feature named French King Rock, visible in the middle of the river. [6]

See also

Structurae online architecture database

Structurae is an online database containing pictures and information about structural and civil engineering works, and their associated engineers, architects, and builders. Its entries are contributed by volunteers and saved in a MySQL database.

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  1. Federal Writers' Project (1937). Massachusetts: A Guide to Its Places and People. American Guide Series. Boston, Massachusetts: Houghton Mifflin Company. p. 453.
  2. Massachusetts Highway Department. "French King Bridge". Boston, Massachusetts: Massachusetts Executive Office of Transportation. Retrieved 2009-09-02. It is of engineering interest as an unusual development of the uncommon three-span, "cantilever arch" bridge type, in that definite reactions were jacked into its steel work at the conclusion of construction, resulting in a bridge which is structurally continuous across four supports.
  3. Project 603723R contract granted
  4. Project status page
  5. (subscription required)
  6. The WPA Guide to Massachusetts: The Bay State. Trinity University Press. 2013 [1938]. p. 412. ISBN   1595342192.