Building The Braga Bridge: 1959 to 1966
We've all driven over the Braga Bridge in Fall River out to Providence or heading to New Bedford, and those of us 40 years old or younger just assume that it has always been there. Today we take a look at the building of the Braga Bridge.
According to Wikipedia, in the early 1950's, a new bridge was planned to ease the congestion of the nearby Slade's Ferry and Brightman Street Bridges, as well as to carry the proposed Cape Cod Expressway over the Taunton River. The original plan called for a "high level bridge" to be located much further north, near what is now the Veterans Memorial Bridge, with a highway passing through the north end of the city in a direct line to Wareham.
In 1959, the role of the new bridge was changed to carrying the new Interstate 195 over the Taunton River, connecting Providence and New Bedford. Construction of the bridge started in 1959 and finished in the spring of 1966. The bridge was named after Charles M. Braga, a Fall River native of Portuguese American descent who was killed in the attack on Pearl Harbor.
Thanks to Spinner Publications for providing us with a photo of the construction of the Braga Bridge sometime between 1959 and 1966. Weird to see this area with no bridge, right?