Acadia’s forgotten bridge



By Therese Klotz Marshall

The stalwart Duck Brook Motor Bridge on the Paradise Hill Road in Acadia National Park is a monument which today would cost several million dollars to build. Yet for the past many years, no one has been able see it. The view from Route 3 coming into Bar Harbor is now totally obscured by trees and shrubs.

This beautiful native pink granite bridge was built to be seen, as testified to by John D. Rockefeller Jr., who donated the land on which it stands and who greatly influenced the design of this 100-foot-tall granite arch bridge. It is a historic structure, the largest of its kind east of the Mississippi and the largest bridge in Acadia National Park.

My father and other members of the Greatest Generation returned to Maine after World War II and worked for Harold MacQuinn Construction Company to build this bridge. It took 92,000 man-hours to construct. As many as 75 local men worked on it at the same time. The blocks of granite weigh up to 600 pounds each.

Acadia’s centennial has come and nearly gone, and yet Duck Brook Motor Bridge remains veiled in obscurity, unknown and hidden from the community and the millions of visitors to Acadia every year. How many people drive over this bridge to the Acadia’s Visitors Center unaware that they are even driving over a bridge?

For many years after its creation, there was a beautiful unobstructed view of Duck Brook Motor Bridge from Route 3, but the view was not maintained on a consistent basis. The bridge is far too valuable, not only to Acadia but also to Bar Harbor, to remain ignored. Such an asset to the community must be uncovered so it can be appreciated.

Its placement is uniquely on the edge of Acadia, adjacent to Route 3, where every person entering town can see it and immediately get a taste of the treasures Acadia has to offer.

The Duck Brook Motor Bridge also is a tribute to all the bridge builders of the Greatest Generation and others who gave us what amounts to a functional work of art.

There is now a website, www.theforgottenbridgeofacadia.org, where people can visit and learn about this historic structure.

If you have a loved one or know someone who worked on this bridge, you can send a short write-up and a photo, and it will be showcased on The Forgotten Bridge of Acadia’s Facebook page.

Please consider signing the petition asking park officials to restore and maintain the original view of Duck Brook Motor Bridge, as seen from Route 3 entering Bar Harbor.

Therese Klotz Marshall, whose father helped build the Duck Brook Motor Bridge in Acadia National Park, is a resident of Polk City, Fla.

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