I grew up with this bridge and railroad. My father, Dewitt Yates was the engineer for the B. & S.E. RR. I have walked across this bridge many times, especially during the hunting season. We had a year's permit from Ben Walker, the owner of the land on the Macon County side of the river. Every Sunday for years I would make a run with my dad in a motorized passenger car for a mail pickup from the Central of Georgia at Milstead. I do not ever recall anyone ever using this bridge as a jumping platform as the river at this point was too shallow and the bridge to far above the river. However, there was another bridge below Milstead on a back road that passed over a creek and swimming hole and was used as a jumping platform. The railroad went defunct and the tracks were torn up and sold for scrap. The steam locomotive 200, was sold to an excursion line in Vermont. I happened to see a program about trains on the Rural Network several years ago that featured the 200. The other steam locomotive, the 227 was wrecked when some still unknown person threw a switch sending the engine downhill and up to the cab in a creek bank. This locomotive was cut up for scrap. Luckily none of the crew was injured when the wreck occurred.
I have passed this bridge for 43 years. It has been used as a right of passage(painting your name on it), a platform to jump off of for swimming, and several other things. I remember the track still being there, It went to the Mill in Tallassee, crossing yet another railway bridge that is now defunct. The mill was Mount vernon mills. Years ago, the track was removed, I supposed for scrap metal at the time. It is true there was a bridge there, which was damaged beyond repair after a flood that destroyed the whole area. I remember people in boats floating around the area where the aerospace (GKN)manufacturing plant is now. It has been there my entire life, and I will hate to see it go. The history told by my Geat Grandad should be archived, it is extremely interesting.
There was a bridge in the space between the two bridges. It was torn down when the new bridge was completed back around 2005 or so.