Salem Beverly Bridge

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The first Essex Bridge was built in 1788 by a group of business people, to replace the ferry service which previously carried people from Salem to Beverly.

The original steel swing span Salem Beverly bridge was built in 1897, and both approaches were reconstructed in 1916.

Local talk of building a new, fixed span bridge began in the 1980's or before.

It will replace the antiquated Essex Bridge, an 18 foot high drawbridge whose frequent openings for passing boats have cause traffic tie-ups for generations.

On Aug. 31 1996, a new steel and concrete fixed-span bridge opened for travel between Salem and Beverly, now named the Veterans Memorial Bridge. The dedication for the bridge was on Aug. 2nd.

Construction on the bridge began in 1993, part of a state project to ease traffic in the area. The project also involved construction of a bypass road in Salem to run alongside the North River and parallel to Bridge Street.

The bypass road was named after slain Army medic Sgt. James Ayube in 2011, killed in Afghanistan while on tour of duty. It is officially called Sergeant James Ayube II Memorial Drive.

See Also

Vertical File in Salem Collection - Beverly-Salem Bridge

"Battle over Beverly-Salem bridge; sides split over fixed-span or quick-draw design" Salem Evening News, July 10, 1990, p. 1

"Bridge over troubled waters; unhappy neighbors" Salem Evening News, Aug. 7, 1996, p. A1

"Bridge blast; Fireworks mark the end of era" Salem Evening News, Aug. 3, 1996

"Most see bridge project as a boon" Boston Sunday Globe, Sept. 4, 1994, North Weekly

"Long road finally ends at new bridge" Boston Sunday Globe, Aug. 11, 1996, p. N 1

"Salem bypass road still years away" Salem Evening News, Sept. 17, 1996. p. A1

"Changing the harbor; bridge gives boaters and drivers relief" Salem Evening News, Aug. 29, 1995, p. 1

"Bypass road dedicated to Sgt. James Ayube" Salem News, Oct. 1, 2011, p. 1

The building of Essex Bridge Robert Rantoul, 1894.