Rating:
5 votes

Garden City Old US 31 Bridge

Photos 

Overview

This bridge consists of a Parker Truss (South Span) and two Pratt Trusses (North Spans). Fortunately, this bridge is in the works to be reused as a pedestrian bridge in a park/walking trail.

Photo taken by James McCray

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BH Photo #113898

Map 

Street View 

Facts 

Overview
Parker through truss bridge over Mulberry Fork Black Warrior River on Old US 31 in Garden City
Location
Garden City, Cullman County, Alabama, and Blount County, Alabama
Status
Bridge is technically abandoned, but it is soon going to be officially a part of a walking trail and park.
History
Bridge made obsolete by the new US 31 bridge in 1960
Design
Parker through truss and 2 Pratt trusses
Also called
Old US 31 Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+33.99772, -86.74911   (decimal degrees)
33°59'52" N, 86°44'57" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
16/523169/3761931 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Nectar
Inventory number
BH 36565 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • September 30, 2014: New photos from Zachary S
  • January 26, 2012: Updated by James McCray: Added category "US 31"
  • January 24, 2012: New photos from James McCray
  • June 25, 2011: New photos from Ben Tate
  • June 8, 2010: New Street View added by Nick Brnot
  • July 13, 2008: Updated by James McCray: "Updated gps coordinates", "Updated number of spans"
  • April 30, 2008: Added by James McCray

Sources 

  • James McCray - jamesinslocomb [at] yahoo [dot] com
  • Ben Tate - benji5221 [at] yahoo [dot] com
  • Zachary S

Comments 

Garden City Old US 31 Bridge
Posted September 18, 2017, by Glyn Robinson (contactbluebird [at] hotmail [dot] com)

from what i read, this bridge will be a walking track. Yay!

Garden City Old US 31 Bridge
Posted February 25, 2016, by Glyn Robinson (contactbluebird [at] hotmail [dot] com)

such a shame it's left to rust away.

Garden City Old US 31 Bridge
Posted January 10, 2014, by Zachary S

Hmm... well that's a bit disconcerting. I know it's been sitting here abandoned for decades totally out of the way and thus I can't see any legitimate reason why they would want to demolish it now, but perhaps liability issues have led to the need for a fence? Kind of unfortunate since one of its main uses ought to be pedestrian. Hopefully that's not a bad thing and they still intend to do something with it. Not many communities nowadays have a large abandoned truss like this one with the opportunity to turn it into a pedestrian trail or public access area. Fingers crossed.

Garden City Old US 31 Bridge
Posted January 10, 2014, by Bradley Roberson (roberson [dot] bd [at] gmail [dot] com)

Unsure if they are still considering the park/walking trail idea, but wanted to add to the post about how to access the bridge.

As of a few weeks ago, a fence and gate has been set into place on the south (Blount County) side of the bridge to keep persons and vehicles from going up the short section of road leading to the bridge. As I said, I do not know what the future plans are, but I'm remaining hopeful since this is a very popular area for kayakers, campers, photographers, etc.

Garden City Old US 31 Bridge
Posted August 21, 2013, by Zachary S

Visited 8/20/13, took several photos for later upload.

I'd assume one of the main reasons the bridge was left in place after the realignment of US 31 is that it appears to carry a rather major gas line. This seems to have saved several bridges in the past, letting them survive long enough for people to realise how historic and important they are, and giving them a chance to preserve them.

It also seems the bridge is appreciated by locals, at least some of them, as in the short time we were there, another vehicle pulled up next to us and two people walked onto the bridge to look around and admire the beautiful view of the river. For the bridge hunter, it also allows a distant yet still nice view of the adjacent railroad deck truss.

Don't try to approach from the north (Cullman County) side, through Garden City; the approach is gated off, grown up with trees and vines, and posted with dozens of private property signs with dilapidated houses full of people watching one's every move (though there may be a good viewing spot from the river if one asks permission, there appears to be a camp site or small recreational place on this side) - instead, visit from the south (Blount County) side, which has a short, paved road right up to it, the remnants of the old US 31 alignment no doubt. There's even a steep set of stairs down to below the bridge on the river itself.

Garden City Old US 31 Bridge
Posted June 17, 2010, by Justin (jcro8829 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

This is a beautiful bridge. It looks so majestic when you see from highway 31. Its only downfall is that so many people leave trash on it and paint it with spray paint.