Sunday, August 4, 2013

From 1938: Crowds Make Last Passage Over Old Middletown Span

The following article is from 75 years ago, published in the Hartford Courant on August 5th, 1938.
Thousands of autoists and pedestrians crossed the old Middletown-Portland Highway draw bridge for the last time Thursday night and thronged the brightly lighted approaches of the new bridge, which will be opened to traffic Saturday after it is dedicated by Governor Cross and other public officials.

The old drawbridge is partially hidden behind the new bridge
Thousands more are expected to make their final passage over the old bridge Friday night when exercises attendant on the dedication of the new structure will start with band concerts by the U.S. Coast Guard Band on the Portland High School grounds and by the Old Guard Band of Middletown at Union Park, Middletown, form 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 o'clock.

Traffic will be stopped on the old bridge Saturday at 1 p.m. Until that hour people coming to Middletown from the north, east and south over highways east of the Connecticut River will be allowed to use the old route to get to this city to witness the dedication exercises, which will start with a parade at 2 p.m. After 1 p.m. traffic in the center of Middletown and Portland near the parade route will be halted.

Samuel S. Mattes is bridge parade chairman.


Middletown Duo said...

The Middlesex County Historical Society in the Mansfield house on Main St. in Middletown has a small but interesting display about the building of the Arrigoni bridge. The display includes photographs, an article about state legislator Charles Arrigoni, and parade memorbilia. See

Anonymous said...

The Portland Bridge is owned by the State of Connecticut. They in turn are responsible for the maintenance and repairs to the bridge as witnessed by the 18months that it took to resurface the bridge. If half the bridge is on the Portland side and half on the Middletown side and the state owns the bridge, WHY ARE WE (MIDDLETOWN) proposing to spend $750000 to illuminate the bridge.????