I've done a little research and found out Tilly-Willy bridge was originally built as a dam with a road going over it. The dam supplied water for the city of Fayetteville and the openings that are there used to have gates to trap the water. When the dam was no longer needed, it was turned into a bridge.
It looks like it could have been a dam. In the upstream low-water shot you can see a concrete sill just below the water surface, the water is smooth above the bridge and a little rippled coming through it. That would also explain why there's only two fairly small openings for a pretty long crossing.
I recently visited this bridge, it is better know as the Tilly Willy Bridge Built on the site of the Matilda Wilson Ford.Still researching its origin. but hate to see it torn down
I have heard that its origins were actually as a dam of sorts (the waterway openings could be opened and shut as needed), I wonder if that is why the rock substructure looks older.
April 21, 2009
Stamped in the concrete on the side of the bridge with the year 1928 and the name of the company who poured the concrete. The stone substructure of the bridge appears to be much older and possibly supported a wooden road deck prior to the 1928 concrete job.
In our research we could find no one who claimed to know when or by who the original bridge was built. The county is supposed to tear the bridge out in the next couple of years, before that happens it would be great if we could determine an origin for this bridge.