Transportation History

On August 6, 1938, a newly constructed steel through arch bridge was formally opened in Middlesex County in south-central Connecticut. This structure, spanning the Connecticut River and connecting the city of Middletown with the town of Portland, took the place of a drawbridge that had been opened in 1896. The building of a replacement bridge began in 1936. Charles J. Arrigoni, who served in the Connecticut House of Representatives from 1933 to 1936 and the Connecticut State Senate between 1937 and 1940, was a staunch champion of this construction project. Originally called the Middletown-Portland Bridge, the structure was eventually renamed the Arrigoni Bridge.

The bridge was opened with considerable fanfare despite inclement weather throughout that Saturday afternoon. The festivities included a huge parade that made its way across the new structure. The Hartford Courant reported, “Along the sidewalks of the Main streets in Middletown and Portland, filling every available space…

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