Bailey Island Bridge, Bailey Island

#268 of 685 in Things to do in Maine
The Bailey Island Bridge is a historic bridge in the town of Harpswell within Cumberland County in the state of Maine.HistoryFor many years, the residents of Bailey Island, Maine, advocated that a bridge be built to connect their island with Orr's Island. The town of Harpswell, Maine, which encompasses both islands, turned down the request. However, when the Maine Legislature drafted a law allowing the state and counties to fund bridge construction, a plan emerged to build such a bridge. A contract was signed in 1926, with construction beginning on the Bailey Island Bridge in 1927 and finishing in 1928. The engineer for the project was Llewelyn N. Edwards, bridge engineer for the Maine State Highway Commission.DesignDesign of the 1,150-foot bridge was complicated by the tides in the area known as Will's Gut. It was decided to build a cobwork bridge, using granite slabs as cribstones, acquired from local quarries in nearby Yarmouth, Maine. The slabs, longer than they are wide, are laid horizontally, first lengthwise, and then crosswise, in several layers. No mortar or cement is used. Granite slabs were considered sufficiently heavy to withstand wind and wave, while the open cribbing allowed the tide to ebb and flow freely without increasing tidal current to any great degree.Some 10,000 tons of granite were used in the project. A concrete road (now part of Route 24) was built on top of the cribstones.
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Bailey Island Bridge Reviews
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75 reviews
  • September 26, 2017
    This is a very interesting bridge as the bridge is constructed of large blocks of rocks stacked on top of each other with no mortar used to hold the blocks together. This allows the tides and storms t...  more »
  • September 24, 2017
    Best place and experience always. Tiny place with big appeal ! Love the bartender Amy, best I've ever seen. I've seen alot ha ha....the staff are great and friendly and love all the chats with the loc...  more »
  • September 11, 2017
    I really don't pay much attention to small bridges but this is so cool. Large marble blocks stacked to create an amazing bridge- I am not a civil engineer so I can't really say much more about it, but...  more »
  • June 15, 2017
    This is really very special bridge. The Cribstone construction feels pretty fragile at the first glance, but given the weight of the stones and the construction itself it is safe. Worthwhile checking this out with your own eyes.
  • June 30, 2017
    My favorite place to go when going back home to Maine🙂
  • December 31, 2016
    My Grandfather and Great Uncle helped build this bridge and supplied all the granite blocks from Knight Quarry in Pownal.
  • June 7, 2017
  • July 13, 2015
    This is a world-famous bridge. It's said to be the only crib bridge in the world.

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