Robinson Bridge

The Massena Center Suspension Bridge

aka

The Robinson Bridge

Designed By

Holton Duncan Robinson

Built By

Holton D. Robinson Company of New York

Cables Forged By

John A. Roebling Sons & Company

Superstructure Forged By

Eastern Steel Company

Built

July to December 1910

Opened

January 1st 1911

Closed

November 11th 1974

The Massena Center Suspension Bridge, lesser known as the Robinson Bridge is a single lane suspension bridge located in the hamlet of Massena Center. It crosses North to South over the Grasse River connecting the hamlet of Massena Center to the former Massena – Roosevelt Highway (Former NY Route 37 now known as Trippany Road). The bridge was designed and built by Holton D. Robinson, a World Renowned Master Bridgebuilder who was born and raised in Massena Center.

The bridge was built in 1910 by the Town of Massena for $40,000. The structure is considered highly rare in the catalog of US Highway Bridges, as one of only two ‘miniature’ single lane suspension bridges ever built in the United States. The bridge served the community of Massena Center for nearly 64 years before its closure on November 10th 1974. It remained open as a pedestrian crossing for several more years before being closed to all traffic by 1983.

While the historical value of the bridge has been known by the locals since Holton Robinson’s death in 1945, several attempts to preserve and restore it by local citizen groups (1975, 1989), along with several attempts to dismantle and demolish the structure (1955, 1974, 1989) with all efforts being unsuccessful.

Modern progress has been made thanks to the Massena Center Historical Society in conjunction with the Town of Massena. In 2019 thanks to the efforts of Deputy Town Supervisor Sam Carbone, Town Historian Mary Ellen Casselman of the Massena Museum, and the charity contributions of the William G. Pomeroy Foundation a New York State Historical Marker was erected at the Northern Approach in Massena Center.

As of 2021 the Massena Center Historical Society continues its goal to see the bridge listed on the State & National Registry of Historical Places and eventually for the structure to be restored and preserved as a pedestrian crossing.

For more information on the Robinson Bridge, please check out our expanded history:

History of the Bridge

 

Media on the Bridge

The 1892 Battle For The Bridge

 

Article 1912 Engineering Article

Holton Duncan Robinson

 

Book: 1913 Suspension Bridge Over The La Grasse River Massena Center, New York

The 1910 Bridge Resolution

 

Article: The St. Lawrence County Historical Association Quarterly, Volume XLIII – Number 4 – Fall of 1998

Last Updated: 02/27/2021