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The two RV Gypsies at
Penobscot Narrows Bridge
and the Observation Tower
August 18, 2011
As the two RV Gypsies were driving in their RV to Timberland Acres RV Park in Trenton, Maine, they saw a bridge peeking up over the tree tops. The road did not provide access to park their big RV, so Karen snapped some photos as they drove.
the top of the Penobscot Narrows Bridge
The Penobscot Narrows Bridge
The two RV Gypsies drove their RV across the Penobscot Narrows Bridge, which almost looked like the top of a sailboat from the angle approaching the bridge.
the two RV Gypsies drive across the Penobscot Narrows Bridge
the two RV Gypsies drive across the Penobscot Narrows Bridge
view of both the new and old bridge
The the two RV Gypsies drive across the Penobscot Narrows Bridge
The old Waldo–Hancock Bridge still stands beside the new bridge.
the Waldo–Hancock Bridge
Scroll down for the history of The Penobscot Narrows Bridge and photos from the observation tower.
clipart of an history book"The Penobscot Narrows Bridge is a cable-stayed bridge over the Penobscot River near Bucksport, Maine. It replaced the Waldo–Hancock Bridge, built in 1931. The new bridge is 2,120 feet long. It is one of three bridges in the U.S. constructed recently to utilize a cradle system that carries the strands within the stays from bridge deck to bridge deck, as a continuous element, eliminating anchorages in the pylons. Each epoxy-coated steel strand is carried inside the cradle in a one-inch steel tube. Each strand acts independently, allowing for removal, inspection and replacement of individual strands. The cable-stay system was designed with a system that uses pressurized nitrogen gas to defend against corrosion. Additionally, in June 2007, six reference strands within three stays were replaced with carbon fiber strands - a first in the U.S. Monitoring on the strands will evaluate this material for future use in bridge designs. These engineering innovations helped the bridge appear in the December 2006 edition of Popular Science as one of the 100 best innovations of the year. The total project cost was $85 million. The bridge was designed as an emergency replacement for the Waldo-Hancock Bridge and from conception to completion, just 42 months elapsed." [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Penobscot_Narrows_Bridge_and_Observatory]
The Penobscot Narrows Bridge
sign for the Penobscot Narrows Observatory
Views of the Penobscot Narrows Bridge (and the old bridge) from the parking lot.
both bridges from the parking lot
both bridges from the parking lot
both bridges from the parking lot
both bridges from the parking lot
Observation Tower: The Penobscot Bridge site also is home to the Penobscot Narrows Observatory, the first bridge observation tower in the United States and the tallest public bridge observatory in the world. The tower reaches 420 feet into the air and allowed the two RV Gypsies to view the bridge, the nearby Fort Knox State Historic Site and the Penobscot River and Bay.
entrance to the Penobscot Narrows Observatory
Looking up at Penobscot Narrows Observatory and Bridge
Plaque and signs at the Penobscot Narrows Observatory
State of Maine plaque
sign about the bridge and observatory
sign about Penobscot Bay
sign about the bridge
Karen walked towards the backside of the observation tower. This was not a scheduled stop for the two RV Gypsies, but actually, they do not do a lot of planning ahead of time. Many of the best things they have seen were in places they just happened to drive by and took the time to stop and enjoy. That is the beauty of being retired and living in an RV full-time, able to tour the USA and Canada at free will.
Karen Duquette
Penobscot Bay
The two RV Gypsies took a one minute ride on the fastest elevator in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont to the top of the tallest public bridge-observatory in the world. The beauty of the Penobscot River and surrounding countryside became immediately apparent as the elevator door opened to a view 420 feet up, with 360 degrees views, complete with identification panels showing how to locate nearby mountains, lakes and town.
divider bar
Below: Views through the windows on the upper level deck of the Penobscot Narrows Observatory.
Views through the windows on the upper level deck of the Penobscot Narrows Observatory.
the toad of the two RV Gypsies in the parking lot
Penobscot Bay
a house by itself
clipart of an history book"Controversy: Shortly after construction had begun The State of Maine seized a local restaurant, The Sail Inn, through eminent domain. The business was said to conflict with the entrance to the bridge on the Prospect side of the bay. Maine DOT later resorted to blasting a rock face, and created a longer and sharper curve in the roadway for the approach to the bridge. Despite the change in engineering, the restaurant was razed, and the land remains the property of the State of Maine."
[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Penobscot_Narrows_Bridge_and_Observatory]
sign about the bridge
sign about the bridge
The photos below show some of the cables mentioned above
the Penobscot Narrows Bridge as seen from below
the Penobscot Narrows Bridge as seen from belowthe Penobscot Narrows Bridge as seen from below
the Penobscot Narrows Bridge as seen from below
the Penobscot Narrows Bridge as seen from below
the Penobscot Narrows Bridge as seen from below
the Penobscot Narrows Bridge as seen from below
the Penobscot Narrows Bridge as seen from below
sign about The Waldo–Hancock Bridge
clipart of an history book The Waldo–Hancock Bridge was the first long-span suspension bridge erected in Maine, as well as the first permanent bridge across the Penobscot River below Bangor. It was built in 1931. The name comes from connecting Waldo and Hancock counties. The bridge was retired in 2006 as the new Penobscot Narrows Bridge was opened just a few yards away.

The bridge is 2,040 feet long with a clear center span of 800 feet between towers. It has two 350 foot side spans and carries a 20 foot wide roadway with two 3-1/2 foot sidewalks. It uses stiffening trusses that are 9 feet deep. Each of the main suspender cables is 9-5/8 inches in diameter, and consists of 37 strands of 37 wires. The deck is 135 feet above water level to allow passage of large ships. The total cost of the span was less than $850,000 in 1931 dollars (about $12 million in 2010 dollars), significantly under its allocated budget.

look below
The two RV Gypsies in Maine
August 12-20, 2011
You may view the 11 sections below in any order that you choose.
The page you are on not underlined and can not be chosen from here.
Entering Maine
Blue Hill Falls, Blue Hill, Maine
Beauty in Maine
Bubble Rock / Acadia National Park
Penobscot Narrows Bridge
Fort Knox
Thunder Hole/ Acadia National Park
Cadillac Mountain / Acadia Nat'l Park
Scenic Overlook /Acadia National Park
Acadia National Park Overlooks
Schoodic National Scenic Byway at Acadia National Park
kook below
continue on to the next adventure of the two RV Gypsies After you have visited all ten (11) sections above - please continue on to Lubec, Maine - the easternmost town in the contiguous United States.