Based on the photographs and the comment left by Charles Bowden, the new arch may have been built while the original spans were left intact and open. The cross-section of the new arch appears to be completely outside that of the originals. It would make sense since it was, at the time, the only link across the river for such a long distance in either direction, to keep the bridge open as much as possible, building the temporary span over the new arch, dismantling the original spans under the arch, building the new deck, and opening the new deck while dismantling the temporary deck. Sounds like one heck of an undertaking, but as necessary as it seems to have been, certainly well worth it.
Does anyone else have photos or stories or theories that could support this idea?
Visited this bridge at 1:00 p.m. on 25 Feb 2007. The main steel arch span can best be photographed from the lawn behind the hospital on the north bank. Another good photo spot is a Mexican Restaurant on the south downstream bank. The RR tracks below the bridge were lined with rail/track maintenance vehicles/equipment (about 1/2 mile string of them) that really stood out on that bank. This bridge is difficult to photograph due to it's incredible length. To get a profile view, I had to walk a 1/2 mile down the tracks; but essentially one's too far away to get a decent image. Structurally, the steel span seems fairly unique in construction. It was nicely fitted to the existing concrete arches.
Webmaster's note: The photos that were here have been incorporated into the main site.
i recall as child crossing this bridge in 69 - 70 as it was being rehabilitated. you actually had to go UP & OVER the arch via a wooden deck that was built on it. it seemed so high and i remember no side railing, very frightening to me. we crossed it then going to and from Clarksville for my oldest sister who was in College of the Ozarks at the time and the Morrison Bluff bridge between Clarksville and Scranton did not yet exist.