Swing bridges are pretty unique and the Boothbay Harbor area is lucky enough to have two of Maine’s finest: the Southport Bridge and the Trevett Bridge, also known as the Barters Island Bridge. The Southport Bridge is motorized and the Trevett Bridge is manually opened, cranked by Dwight or Duane Lewis, twin brothers who have operated the bridges for 50+ years! The Trevett Bridge, connecting Barters Island to Hodgdon Island, is the last hand-cranked swing bridge still operating in the state of Maine! The most often asked question is “Does he get dizzy?”
You can listen to a 2005 interview with Dwight and Duane here.
In the summer, they crank the bridge open up to twelve times a day on weekends and six times a day during the week. It’s a treat to watch and even more of a treat to help crank it open and catch a ride if you are brave enough to offer your services.
Enjoy one of the best lobster rolls in the area on the deck of the Trevett Country Store and you’ll have a good chance of experiencing the bridge opening.
The gates are lowered by hand and the bridge operator cranks in a circular motion as the center span of the bridge rotates on a fulcrum and allows boats to pass the center span on either side. If you take an electric boat tour from the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens you can enjoy a water view from The Beagle as you pass through the bridge.
If you are a movie buff you may have seen the Trevett Bridge in the 2001 film, In the Bedroom, starring Sissy Spacek and Marisa Tomei. You can see it here in the movie trailer at about 2:00 minutes in.
Built in 1931, the bridge is slated for an estimated $4,250,000 DOT rehabilitation project in 2017. According to a 2015 article by Bill Pearson in the Boothbay Register, this project tops the list as the most expensive of the 50 projects slated for Lincoln County in their 3-year work plan. Public hearings are being held in March and April. It will remain a swing bridge, but will the bridge remain manually operated? Residents of Trevett and Barters Island certainly hope so. They don’t want memories of this iconic bridge to leave the island.
So hustle over to Trevett and give Dwight or Duane a hand with the crank so you can return home with an unbelievable story to share with your family and friends! You might want to have someone videotape it or your friends and family will think it’s just another Maine fish story!
View videos of the bridge opening below!
All photos and videos by Bev Tabet Photography