Bridge contributes to an identified historically important railroad improvement in GA RR context. The bridge carries one former L&N (now CSX) railroad track over a narrow road in a sparsely developed rural setting. A frame church is beyond the west side and US 441 is to the east.
The one span, 20'-long and 47'-wide, plain concrete arch is set into an earth embankment. There are no headwalls. There are flared wingwalls.
Summary of Significance:
The concrete arch bridge is associated with the Louisville & Nashvilleís (L&Nís) efforts to improve its connections between Tennessee and Atlanta. It was constructed ca. 1908 as part of the L&Nís improved route to Knoxville, and it is historically significant (criterion A) in association with the important, regionally powerful railroad. The primary reason for Atlantaís growth as a city was that it was a terminus for all of the regionís major rail systems. One of the most important players was the L&N, which controlled connections from Atlanta to points northwest in Tennessee and Kentucky, including that regionís coal fields (the L&N was the largest coal-hauling railroad south of W.Va.). The L&N also provided Atlantaís only direct connection to the major urban and manufacturing centers of the Midwest, particularly Chicago, Cincinnati, and St. Louis. The L&N gained direct access to Atlanta after 1890 through control of an earlier line, the Western & Atlantic Railroad (W&A). Points north of Atlanta were a funnel for three L&N lines converging on the city. Two of the lines met at Cartersville, Bartow County, and the third at Marietta, Cobb County.
The W&A was established in 1837 as a political expediency of Georgiaís state government to head off attempts by businessmen in Charleston, S.C., to build their own railroad across the northern part of the state. In this era of fervent stateís rights, Georgians feared that a South Carolina-controlled railroad might cut-off them off from the western trade in foodstuffs. The W&Aís terminus was set at a place known as Terminus, later renamed Atlanta. Two other railroads, the Georgia Railroad from Augusta and the Monroe Railroad from Macon, each made plans to extend their lines to Atlanta, further staking the cityís future to the railroads.
The W&A ran from Atlanta north through Cartersville to Dalton, and then across the Georgia-Tennessee line to the Tennessee River and Ross's Landing, later renamed Chattanooga. By the late 1850s, increasing amounts of manufactured and dry goods were arriving in Atlanta. This interregional trade suggested to Atlanta's optimistic businessmen that the city had even greater potential as a major rail distribution center for the southeastern United States, and it was this potential that they would capitalize upon after the Civil War. The L&N officially gained control of the W&A in 1890, but found that the line, which had been rebuilt after the Civil War, was inadequate to its growing traffic. Further stress was placed on the line in 1902 when a controlling stake in the L&N was assigned to the Atlantic Coast Line (ACL), which operated routes from Atlanta to Florida. The old W&A thus became a key link in the busiest Chicago-Florida passenger route, known as "the Dixie Route," the precursor to the Dixie Highway. About 1902, the L&N began efforts to upgrade the old W&A with easier grades, curves, and grade crossing eliminations, especially south of Cartersville where a steep ridge slowed operations, but its primary emphasis was on building or acquiring additional lines. In 1902, it acquired the Marietta & North Georgia Railroad, which gave it a route from the old W&A at Marietta on north through Canton, Etowah, and eventually to Knoxville. This line had the advantage of tapping copper mines in the mountains, but the grades and sharp curves were not efficient for through traffic between Atlanta and Knoxville. To remedy this, the L&N built another line on easier grades starting in 1906, which branched from the old W&A at Cartersville to head north through White and Chatsworth to Knoxville. This made Cartersville a junction for L&N through traffic where trains headed north would diverge for either Chattanooga-Nashville or Knoxville. This became the L&Nís main line, and the arch bridge at Pine Log was one of several concrete arches built through the embankment to accommodate local vehicular traffic. The L&N undertook other gradecrossing eliminations in the vicinity of Cartersville to improve the efficiency of operations in the vicinity of where the two main lines and Rome branch came together. The L&N merged with Chessie System in 1980 to form the current railroad corporation known as CSX.
GADOT. Bridge Inspection File & Plans.
Maury Klein, History of the Louisville & Nashville Railroad (New York: Macmillan, 1972).