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B.B. Comer Bridge

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Photos 

Overview

Photo taken by Sheila Fossett

Videos 

This video is a compilation of photographs taken during construction of the Comer Bridge and now. The bridge has a rich history and a bright future for future generations!

Compiled and edited by Arnold Wheeler. Present day photographs by Arnold Wheeler, Clyde Brosdway, and Caroline Lynch Minor.

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An osprey enjoys a late afternoon / early evening flight over the Comer Bridge.

Caroline Lynch Minor

Play video on YouTube

Map 

Street Views 

Description 

Comer Bridge Foundation website - http://www.comerbridge.org Named to Register of Alabama Historic Commission - November 1, 2013 October 31, 2013 the Comer Bridge was added to the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage.

Facts 

Overview
Cantilevered through truss bridge over Tennessee River on AL 35 at Scottsboro
Location
Scottsboro, Jackson County, Alabama
Status
Open to traffic
Future prospects
negotiations begun to preserve in place.
History
Built 1930
Builder
- Kansas City Bridge Co. of Kansas City, Missouri
Design
Cantilevered Warren through truss
Dimensions
Length of largest span: 310.1 ft.
Total length: 2,143.1 ft. (0.4 mi.)
Deck width: 19.7 ft.
Vertical clearance above deck: 14.1 ft.
Recognition
Eligible for the National Register of Historic Places
Also called
Scottsboro Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+34.64103, -85.97722   (decimal degrees)
34°38'28" N, 85°58'38" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
16/593737/3833711 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Hollywood
Inventory numbers
AL 784 (Alabama bridge number)
BH 10134 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection (as of 03/2013)
Deck condition rating: Fair (5 out of 9)
Superstructure condition rating: Poor (4 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Fair (5 out of 9)
Appraisal: Structurally deficient
Sufficiency rating: 33.9 (out of 100)
Average daily traffic (as of 2012)
8,639

Update Log 

  • March 17, 2014: Updated by Caroline Lynch Minor: Update on adding bridge to Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage Oct. 32,2013
  • October 24, 2013: Updated by Luke Harden: Added city
  • October 14, 2013: Updated by Caroline Lynch Minor: Added category "Websites"
  • September 1, 2013: Updated by Julie Bowers: changed builder.
  • March 17, 2013: New photos from Calvin Sneed
  • July 10, 2010: Updated by Calvin Sneed: Change Street View orientation: View should always be from shore to shore, not from middle of bridge
  • April 22, 2010: New Street View added by Nathan Holth
  • April 22, 2010: New photo from James Legg
  • July 6, 2009: Updated by Kim Harvey: alternate name, future prospects
  • October 2, 2006: Posted photos from Sheila Fossett

Sources 

Comments 

B.B. Comer Bridge
Posted March 17, 2014, by Caroline Lynch Minor (carolinelynchminor [at] gmail,com)

Comer Bridge added to the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage.

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B.B. Comer Bridge
Posted March 12, 2014, by Julie Bowers (jbowerz1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Comer Bridge Foundation P.O. Box 609 Scottsboro, AL 35768

Contact: Julie Bowers The N. Skunk River Greenbelt Association/Workin’ Bridges (641) 260-1262 jbowerz1@gmail.com

CBF, NSRGA COLLABORATE FOR NEXT STEPS TO SAVE COMER BRIDGE

SCOTTSBORO, AL, March 11, 2014 — Attorneys for the Comer Bridge Foundation (CBF) and The N. Skunk River Greenbelt Association (NSRGA) are drafting an agreement that will authorize the two bridge-preservation groups to work collaboratively to save, preserve and repurpose the B.B. Comer Bridge, which crosses the Tennessee River near Scottsboro, Alabama. Local attorneys Bill Tally and Justin Lackey are representing CBF and NSRGA, respectively.

“NSRGA/CBF wants to provide jobs, training and education in areas from hospitality, event management, security and maintenance,” shared Julie Bowers, executive director of Workin’ Bridges, the consulting arm of NSRGA. “We want the bridge to become a habit for wellness and serenity, and a place where wildlife and human life are celebrated. Food, fun, music and historic preservation go hand-in-hand, and it is up to us to decide what importance preservation of our past makes in the threads of life for our future.”

Once the agreement is approved by the board of directors for each of the nonprofit organizations, the collaboration will submit a formal purchase plan to the Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT), which currently owns the bridge.



Comer Bridge, completed in 1930, is the last of the 15 memorial toll bridges enacted by legislation in 1927 that were built by the Kansas City Bridge Company but contracted through the Alabama State Bridge Corporation. Selected for the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage in October 2013, the historic bridge will now be submitted for national recognition by the Keeper of the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP).

Workin’ Bridges prepared a preliminary concept plan and elevation for the area around and on the bridge that Bowers shared with local and state officials in February. Bowers’ efforts to bring the City of Scottsboro and Jackson County into the collaboration were unsuccessful despite positive response from Alabama’s Department of Commerce, Made in Alabama and the Alabama Film Office during February meetings in Montgomery.

The NSRGA/CBF collaboration addressed a list of criteria provided by ALDOT Division Engineer Johnny L. Harris that defines the next steps required to change the intent of ALDOT’s contract with HRI Bridge Construction from demolition to repurposing. These criteria are based on ownership, construction and restoration practices, permitting, inspections, and a maintenance plan. Harris noted that the demolition funds can be used to preserve and repurpose the bridge if all criteria are met and approved by the Federal Highway Administration.

For more information about the CBF and efforts to save the bridge, visit the CBF website at www.comerbridge.org and consider liking CBF's Friends of B.B. Comer Bridge at https:// www.facebook.com/comerbridgefoundation.

The Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage added the B.B. Comer Memorial Bridgeto affirm its contribution to the economic and cultural history of the people in northeastern Alabama as well as its status as the last remaining of 15 memorial bridges legislated by the state in 1927. Caroline Lynch Minor, secretary of The Comer Bridge Foundation, recently received this certificate.

B.B. Comer Bridge
Posted January 7, 2014, by Julie Bowers (jbowerz1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

I think they are so disheartened in PA about their historic bridges that we provide an alternative. I'd like to see things stay where they are too, it's easier and way cheaper generally, but.....I am not going to wait. The county doesn't want this bridge, they don't want any crossing, and while PA cultural resources thought we could use a 1930s truss they also have, I would prefer to save the really old, cool ones that make a statement and can draw people in. Oh yeah, they called us!

There are federal funds. There are no bridges in Alabama that are available through ALDOT and we need one to make our concept presentation in a few weeks. I'm sure there will be restrictions and hurdles but maybe more than any PennDOT knows how hard it is for preservation to happen in a real way.

Slowly we will provide all different kinds of solutions for these bridges. They are all very unique. The B.B. Comer will show how a massive bridge can be viewed as real estate.

The collaborations between the non-profit and the public sector are areas that continue to provide opportunities. We offer friends groups expertise that gets them solidly and quickly into the game.

B.B. Comer Bridge
Posted January 7, 2014, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Are they putting any restrictions on it? Ie, must be used in-county? I generally like to see bridges stay in their counties or states, but whatever it takes to save a bridge...especially if it is with private money.

B.B. Comer Bridge
Posted January 7, 2014, by Julie Bowers (jbowerz1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Can you believe that the county/city wants it gone and doesn't want to put anything else there. Glad they are finally talking to us. They also have Beatty's Mill Bowstring that we are hoping to get ahold of and find a new home for. They said the hardest part was helping the group that wants to save these figure out how.

We are open to helping.

B.B. Comer Bridge
Posted January 7, 2014, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

PennDot wants to get rid of that Whipple truss? My goodness, if we had a creek large enough on our farm, I just might be happy to take it off their hands...

B.B. Comer Bridge
Posted January 7, 2014, by Julie Bowers (jbowerz1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

The criteria for the re-use of B.B. Comer Bridge has arrived and a press release is being generated. ALDOT has determined that demo money CAN be used for the repurposing of the bridge, to move an historic bridge in for access, (no maintenance of course. Criteria are in areas of ownership (short and longterm), construction and restoration, public access (can't be my own private house bridge), permitting from all of the various agencies and longterm funding.

We are building a scope and estimate for Comer Bridge Foundation for the options we are choosing to showcase for upcoming meetings. I am showing one of Nathan Holth's photos here of Wiley's Bridge (PennDOT has offered this one, a double intersection WHIPPLE) and two photos from A View From Above by David Kanmerer out of Scottsboro I am using the aerial photos for an osprey eye view video for the meetings coming up (quadcoptor-check him out on Facebook). The slue to the left is where the vintage approach bridge will be set and the cantilever will be a marketplace of some sort.

Any ideas, they really are always welcome. J

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B.B. Comer Bridge
Posted January 1, 2014, by Julie Bowers (jbowerz1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

oops. full image here.

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B.B. Comer Bridge
Posted January 1, 2014, by Julie Bowers (jbowerz1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

I think this plan and elevation has all of the elements and areas that need further design. I am now embarking on the further design. I visualize high tension shade that emulates a retro street scape awning with glassed in store fronts that house 6-8' businesses. Those businesses in my eye are a bakery/coffee shop, ice cream shop, gallery of art, jewelry, sundries. I visualize bicycle parking, facilities of some sort, and designated areas for different groups with requisite stuff for those. The board walk is timber piling that attaches to the approach on the east side and keeps going to the stop sign so that people can get over the highway, go on down to the park or start from that end and come to Bridge Bistro (for lack of another restaurant concept we have our own). Dy is on You Tube describing how we do that under the non-profit status, by training chefs and service staff, providing quality food at prices that keep people coming back. For the south I don't know what the menu is, but we all like good food. If it would turn out that Top of the River would like to extend their franchise north, even better. In all of my asking about, everyone likes the more eclectic over the chain and we need to keep financing the entire operation through every potential revenue stream. Down to and including putting quarters in the view finders to watch the ospreys.

What do you think. I'm getting ready to start drawing elevations for the new (vintage span) I will include photos of that soon. I will also start basic deck drawings for each of the Warrens. Adirondack chairs, game tables, sand boxes and big blocks are all part of the vision.

This is a destination place. Bring a picnic. Buy a picnic. Have an event where we close the bridge and bring in a band.

Charles. I'm thinking that our upper viewing area is actually a clear box, scissor lift that you pay for by the 5 minutes. Takes you up, takes you down, deals with the wind/auto noise and doesn't bother the ospreys, and gets us up up in the truss. Like the Fairmont in San Francisco elevators.

What else. The bistro has a wrap around screened in porch (we got decks on the bridge) with a large fire place and is open for every meal.

I shall share this vision with the friends to see if we can spark some more design discussion. I am having fun and I can see this and I shall send it off to the contact at ALDOT as well to show him we haven't stopped the process and are well on the way to having a presentation for the City and for Developers that we would like to engage in our vision.

I love my job.

Happy New Year.

Can't wait for those TRUSS Awards.

ps Wiley's Bridge in Pennsylvania has been offered as a potential bridge for this project. So if you read to the bottom of this notice you now know more.

Julie

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B.B. Comer Bridge
Posted November 14, 2013, by Julie Bowers (jbowerz1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

No congrats yet but the deal is in motion. The next meeting is key with Workin' Bridges and NSRGA playing a big role. This has so many agencies and the Legislative Delegation looks to vote next week on helping to fund the visit and meeting. If things work out then....then we can accept the congratulations.

Good press coverage helps and a contractor that can see a vision.

B.B. Comer Bridge
Posted November 13, 2013, by Art S. (asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)
B.B. Comer Bridge
Posted October 26, 2013, by Julie Bowers (jbowerz1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Thanks for the recommendations. Getting one from close to there seems like a great idea. We meet in early December.

B.B. Comer Bridge
Posted October 25, 2013, by james mccray (jamesinslocomb [at] yahoo [dot] com)

You mentioned getting ideas about obtaining another truss bridge to go along with the BB Comer bridge, what about this one (http://bridgehunter.com/al/madison/16289/)? Its called the "Boat Dock Road Bridge" and it has been closed to traffic for a while. It is located just at the north end of the US 231 Tennessee River Bridge that goes into Huntsville, AL. That one, if whoever owns it will be willing to hand it over, seems to be a good bridge to use. Also, there are about 5 abandoned truss bridges in Lincoln County, TN over the Elk River just north of Huntsville that are available too.

B.B. Comer Bridge
Posted October 24, 2013, by Zachary S

Excellent news. Hope it keeps looking up.

B.B. Comer Bridge
Posted October 24, 2013, by Julie Bowers (jbowerz1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Really great news from HRI Bridge today. They are willing to enter into discussions about utilizing the demolition funds that were already put into this third phase of the contract and use those for restoration and rethinking the area. This also means saving another truss bridge for use to get across the slough to the city road so we need ideas for what truss that should be. Working on an early December site visit which will result in a Scope and Estimate for preserving and maintaining this last very historic truss and for a new pedestrian crossing. And yes, it couldn't have happened with me and my team being able to help the friends group, and negotiate with all of the agencies and areas involved from ALDOT to the city / county and private companies. Here's to Nels at BACH, Jim at Schiffer and me, Julie at Workin' Bridges for finding a way, thinking out of the box and having the expertise to work on any size bridge.

Outstanding that more has been revealed and that was the "higher up's at HRI Bridge thought that this was a good idea. Can't wait to go back to Alabama.

B.B. Comer Bridge
Posted October 14, 2013, by Caroline Lynch Minor

For information and updates about the Comer Bridge on Facebook:

CBF's Friends of the B. B. Comer Bridge

B.B. Comer Bridge
Posted October 14, 2013, by Caroline Lynch Minor (carolinelynchminor [at] gmail [dot] com)

If you would like to help support the effort to save the B. B. Comer Bridge, (the last remaining of 15 Memorial Toll Bridges in Alabama) tax deductible donations may be made to: Comer Bridge Foundation, P. O. Box 609, Scottsboro, AL 35769. Any size donation is greatly appreciated! Even the smallest amount helps bring us closer to the next phase in the process to save our bridge! Thank you!

B.B. Comer Bridge
Posted October 1, 2013, by Julie Bowers (jbowerz1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

http://www.clipsyndicate.com/video/playlist/19054/4388811?title=news

Very positive meetings with most of the interested parties. Two more today. Proud of the friends and whst we are able to accomplish.

Raising funds for site visit by Nels Raynor and Jim Schiffer.

They will help with planning design and maintenance plans.

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B.B. Comer Bridge
Posted September 28, 2013, by Clark Vance (cvance [at] dogmail [dot] com)

What might they be tending!?

Possibility is a river monitoring station, enclosed with access from top of pier.

B.B. Comer Bridge
Posted September 28, 2013, by Julie Bowers (jbowerz1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Bridge tenders' facilities???

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B.B. Comer Bridge
Posted September 26, 2013, by Julie Bowers (jbowerz1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Fun day on the water. Advance team for Workin' Bridges. One of the next for Nels Raynor and Jim Schiffer to take a look at.

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B.B. Comer Bridge
Posted September 6, 2013, by Julie Bowers (jbowerz1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Workin' Bridges is delighted to announce we are formally working with the friends to keep this bridge functioning for the people and the ospreys.

B.B. Comer Bridge
Posted September 1, 2013, by Julie Bowers (jbowerz1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

in previous research I thought this bridge came up as Kansas City Bridge Co. I thought it was on here but months ago. Any ideas?

B.B. Comer Bridge
Posted August 27, 2013, by Caroline Lynch Minir (carolinelynchminor [at] gmail [dot] com)

An update on preservation efforts: Currently, we are in the process of incorporating and filing for 501(c)3 status. We are also in negotiations with an organization to help boost our efforts and resources to save the Comer Bridge. Look for some exciting news in the near future! We are determined to keep the last memorial toll bridge standing!

B.B. Comer Bridge
Posted April 8, 2013, by Andy Peters (anpete [at] yahoo [dot] com)

The Chattanooga Times Free Press published an article today, citing Bridgehunter, about the preservation efforts to save the B.B. Comer Bridge.

B.B. Comer Bridge
Posted March 17, 2013, by Calvin Sneed (us43137415 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

Updated; new photos..

How are preservation efforts going?

B.B. Comer Bridge
Posted March 8, 2013, by Caroline Lynch Minor (carolinelynchminor [at] gmail [dot] com)

If you are interested in helping save the last remaining memorial toll bridge in Alabama, please join our effort on Facebook at Friends of the B. B. Comer Bridge! Thank you!

The following photos include a view from the bridge, at sunset, by Caroline Lynch Minor, a 1930's postcard of the B. B. Comer Bridge, a photo from the M. H. Lynch Family photos of Corrine Lynch and Hazel Alspaugh, 14 year old Sarah Campbell at the Reopening, releasing the toll in 1936 from the family photos of Gary West, and a 1970's photo of the bridge taken by Hugh Williams. You may view these and many more on our group page.

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B.B. Comer Bridge
Posted March 8, 2013, by Caroline Lynch Minor (carolinelynchminor [at] gmail [dot] com)

If you are interested in helping save the last remaining memorial toll bridge in Alabama, please join our effort on Facebook at Friends of the B. B. Comer Bridge! Thank you!

The following photos include a view from the bridge, at sunset, by Caroline Lynch Minor, a 1930's postcard of the B. B. Comer Bridge, a photo from the M. H. Lynch Family photos of Corrine Lynch and Hazel Alspaugh, 14 year old Sarah Campbell at the Reopening, releasing the toll in 1936 from the family photos of Gary West, and a 1970's photo of the bridge taken by Hugh Williams. You may view these and many more on our group page.

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B.B. Comer Bridge
Posted April 5, 2012, by Ben Tate (benji5221 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

There is a movement to save this bridge from demolition. Here's a link to a Facebook group dedicated to preserving this bridge.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/123231444445454/

Scottsboro Bridge
Posted May 4, 2011, by RKPace (ramonapace [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Recently took these photos of BB Comer Bridge

https://picasaweb.google.com/ramonapace/JacksonCountyApril20...

Scottsboro Bridge
Posted September 12, 2007, by Dennis Lambert (dennylambert [at] aol [dot] com)

This bridge is known as the B. B. Comer bridge and is scheduled by the Alabama Department of Transportation for replacement. Construction on the new bridge, which is similar to that of the newer structure built in the 1980s and slightly upriver from it, is to begin soon (around 2008). The old bridge originally carried two-way traffic and now carries only two-lanes of eastbound traffic of Alabama Highway 35 while the newer bridge carries the two-lanes of westbound traffic.

Dennis Lambert

Bridgeport, Alabama