Here’s Why the Joshua Chamberlain Bridge is Much Wider in Brewer
Ever wonder why the Joshua Chamberlain Bridge is wider on the Brewer end than it is on the Bangor end?
Where Is the Wider Part of the Bridge?
I think a lot of people don't even notice it. But, especially if you're walking across the bridge, you may notice that, in Brewer, it has this weird curve right at the end. I asked my husband once if he knew why it was like that. (He's originally from out of state) He guessed that it could be a place to pull over if you were having car trouble. Maybe it was a place to pull your horse over if it needed water. (Okay, I don't think the bridge goes back THAT far) Finally, he said, it could have been a design choice.
Why Was It Made That Way?
Actually, it was made that way to accommodate a toll booth. The money raised by that toll booth helped to pay for the bridge that doubled the access across the river. And it was a much more modern bridge than the old iron trestle bridge that sat where the Penobscot Bridge is now located. The Joshua Chamberlain Bridge was opened in November of 1954, and tolls were collected until the late 1960s when the booths were torn down and access to Bangor was free.
I vaguely remember the trek through the toll booth, as a small child, and my parents debating the economy of paying for the Chamberlain Bridge, as opposed to going across the 'old' bridge but then paying the gas to driver across town. It only cost about ten cents to pay the toll but when you figure that a gallon of gas was less than forty cents, it was a valid discussion. More times than not, we went through the toll booth, which I remember thinking was pretty cool.
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