North Street Overpass
North Street Overpass project was begun in the fall of 1950 and opened in July of 1952.
The plan to construct the overpass was to eliminate terrible bottlenecks at the railroad grade crossing at the intersection of Bridge and North Streets.
"This necessitated the razing of the historic bridge that was the site of Leslie's Retreat in 1775 and the taking of 43 buildings located on North, Federal, Franklin and Bridge street.Approximately 125 people were displaced" according to Jim McAllister in a News article.
A temporary bypass road was built, which later become Commercial Street. Many businesses in the way were either relocated or razed. Some interesting ones that were affected was the "gasometer" at Odell Square and North Street and the North Street Arena, home to the American Roller Polo League and also used for boxing and wrestling. Odell Square ran between and parallel to Federal and Bridge Streets on the eastern side of North Street. During the construction all four houses on the tiny way were bulldozed and the street itself ceased to exist.
This new construction replaced the Old North Bridge. Find a picture at the North River entry.
- Vertical File - North Street- Overpass
- "To start Overpass Work at Historic North Bridge" Salem Evening News, Oct. 28, 1950, p.?
- "Coleman will build North St. Overpass" Salem Evening News, Oct. 7, 1950, p. 1
- "Award Million Dollar Overpass Job" Salem Evening News, Oct. 11, 1951, p.1
- "Many changes as North St. Overpass Job Moves" Salem Evening News, Jan. 27, 1951, p. 1
- "Half a century ago, it was overpass, not bypass, that had Salem in turmoil" Salem Evening News, Mar. 13, 2006, p. B7
- "Going with the Flow; to eliminate traffic bottlenecks, city launched three-stage project to eliminate railroad grade crossings" Salem Evening News, July 14, 1999, p. A3