Manchester: Notre Dame Bridge's Final Bow

The New Hampshire Union Leader is proud to announce a beautiful, hardcover retrospective of Greater Manchester, "Manchester Memories Volume III: The 1970s and 1980s." Following where “Manchester Memories: The Early Years" and "Manchester Memories Volume II: 1940s, ’50s and ’60s" left off, this heirloom-quality coffee-table book features memories of Greater Manchester from the 1970s through 1989 in historic photographs. Learn more by clicking the link above or "More info" at the bottom of the page.

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To paraphrase T.S. Eliot, it ended not with a whimper but a splash. Shortly after noon on warm, sunny September 6th in 1989, one of Manchester’s most iconic symbols, the elegant Notre Dame Bridge, took its final bow. The 444-foot green, steel-arched truss bridge, only one of five surviving in the state at the time, had spanned the Merrimack River for more than 50 years.

Notre Dame Bridge coming down, September 6, 1989. Photo by George Naum. -- Courtesy Union Leader Archives

Notre Dame Bridge coming down, September 6, 1989. Photo by George Naum.

Courtesy Union Leader Archives

The fate of the bridge had been under discussion for years. But in the end, it was decided that it would be safest to take it down. With a creaking of metal, one of the state’s most recognizable landmarks leaned out at a slight angle, suspended itself momentarily as if taking a final look at its beloved city, and then gracefully fell into the Merrimack River with a mighty splash. Dozens gathered to watch its fall.

 

However, before it fell, the old bridge had still served a purpose. As the new bridge was constructed, the steel bridge served as a one-way traffic lane while a single lane of the new bridge served vehicles headed in the opposite direction.

The “old and new” Notre Dame Bridge, 1989. The photo was taken in April 1989, just before the demolition of the old arched bridge. -- Courtesy David Laliberté

The “old and new” Notre Dame Bridge, 1989. The photo was taken in April 1989, just before the demolition of the old arched bridge.

Courtesy David Laliberté

Get a glimpse into Greater Manchester history, and see hundreds more beautiful, historic photos like the ones above in the New Hampshire Union Leader's new book, Manchester Memories III.

Volume III: Manchester Memories: The 1970s and 1980s Cover
New Hampshire Union Leader presents Volume III: Manchester Memories: The 1970s and 1980s

$39.95

More info