Coggeshall Street Bridge Is a Vital New Bedford-Fairhaven Link
The Coggeshall Street Bridge connecting New Bedford and Fairhaven is one of eight motor vehicle bridges that cross the Acushnet River. Five of the bridges are in the town of Acushnet.
The so-called River's End Bridge connects Acushnet and New Bedford. That bridge carries vehicles from Wood Street in New Bedford to Slocum Street on the Acushnet side of the river.
The remaining three bridges, including the I-195 bridge, the 125-year-old New Bedford-Fairhaven US 6 draw bridge, and the Coggeshall Street Bridge connect New Bedford and Fairhaven.
We've written reams about the New Bedford-Fairhaven Bridge, and the I-195 bridge speaks for itself, but seldom do we hear about the Coggeshall Street Bridge.
In 1850, the Massachusetts Legislature approved a charter for a bridge connecting Coggeshall Street in New Bedford to what was then known as Oxford Village in Fairhaven, west of North Main Street.
Following 40 years of delays and false starts, the Coggeshall Street Bridge opened to travel on September 22, 1890, even though it was not finished. The bridge was completed in 1892, with the Fairhaven approach to the bridge finished in 1896.
By the middle of the 20th century, with the number of motor vehicles expanding dramatically, it was time to replace the aging Coggeshall Street Bridge. A raised, wider Coggeshall Street Bridge replaced the old span in the 1960s.
The new bridge opened for motor vehicle traffic in May 1964.
When mechanical issues render the New Bedford-Fairhaven Bridge unavailable to motor vehicle traffic, the Coggeshall Street Bridge helps to pick up the slack but can become congested quickly.
While plans are underway to replace the New Bedford-Fairhaven Bridge, there are no plans to replace or upgrade the Coggeshall Street Bridge.