An iconic landmark in Mystic is the “Bascule” bridge right in the middle of downtown. The current version has been operating almost a hundred years, but a variety of ferries and bridges have served in this spot since the 1600s! Any tour of Mystic will walk over it.
The Damn Bridge….a term of affection
When the bridge dramatically opens to let boat traffic pass (almost every hour during summer months), traffic in town grinds to a halt. For this reason, it is known locally as “the damn bridge”.
It should be pointed out that this is a term of affection, as we are actually proud of this unique engineering marvel that has the audacity to disrupt Rte 1 (The Boston Post Road) that runs
from Maine to Florida. Bascule is French for “see-saw”. The 82 foot span of road that lifts into the air each hour is counter-balanced by two 230 ton concrete blocks that rest menacingly over your head when you walk over the bridge. In our local walking tours of Mystic, the view from this quirky icon provides an amazing view of the Seaport, the Mystic River and the maritime scenes Mystic is noted for. Watching the bridge rise is still an impressive site, even after seeing it hundreds of times, tourists as well as locals always pause to gawk.