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Browns Bridge

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Photos 

Diagonal view looking south/southeast

Photo taken by JT Legg in January 2006

Map 

Street View 

Description 

The following text is from the updated Georgia Historic Bridge Survey database.

Setting/Context:

The bridge carries a two lane road over Lake Lanier in a wooded setting. In 1950-57, the 38,000-acre lake was created by the US Army Corps of Engineers, Mobile District as part of multipurpose water control project on the Chattahoochee River. The reservoir is impounded by the Buford Dam. The bridge is one of many built by the Corps of Engineers in cooperation with the state highway department to replace bridges flooded by the reservoir to maintain connectivity and to provide access for the development of recreational facilities surrounding the lake including campgrounds, picnic areas, beaches, and boat launches.

Physical Description:

The main span of the 9 span, 1,372'-long bridge is a 4-span continuous Warren with vertical thru truss with span lengths of 263'-327'-327'-263'. The approach spans are 38'-long steel stringers. Floorbeams are set above the lower chords. The trusses are composed of primarily rolled section with built up members at selected locations. The substructure consists of extremely high concrete column bents and concrete abutments. The portal braces and lateral bracing across the bridge have impact damage.

Summary of Significance:

The bridge was constructed in 1955 over Lake Lanier. The lake was created by the US Army Corps of Engineers of Mobile District as part of multipurpose water control project on the Chattahoochee River. The bridge represents a typical solution to the common engineering problem of a long-span crossing. The continuous thru truss bridge, with the deepest members over the bearings where the stresses are the most complex, had been favored for long spans since the 1920s. Reflecting a superstructure derived from the most economical arrangement possible given the site conditions that dictated placement and design of the substructure, the more challenging engineering problem at the crossing, the Lake Lanier bridge is an example of the period emphasis on cost-based design that dominated the postwar era. It has no innovative or distinctive details. It is not technologically significant. It is one of many built by the Corps of Engineers in cooperation with the state highway department to replace bridges flooded by the reservoir in order to maintain connectivity and to provide access for the development of recreational facilities surrounding the lake including campgrounds, picnic areas, beaches, residential areas, and marinas.

Lake Lanier is a 38,000-acre lake was created by the US Army Corps of Engineers, Mobile District between 1950-57. The reservoir is impounded by the Buford Dam, and the Chattahoochee River project is the last of the large Corps projects in the southeast, including Lake Allatoona on the Etowah River and Lake Hartwell on the Savannah River. Lake Lanier also supports the Atlanta water supply. The bridge was determined significant by GDOT and SHPO, based on research by others, for its association with the US Army Corps of Engineers project.

Facts 

Overview
Through truss bridge over Lake Lanier, Chattahoochee River on Browns Bridge Road (GA 369)
Location
Hall County, Georgia, and Forsyth County, Georgia
Status
Open to traffic
Future prospects
Slated for demolition and replacement. Bridge is NR eligible. Mitigation completed in 2014 via FHWA. Archival photos on file with Georgia SHPO.
History
Built in 1955 replacing a covered bridge submerged by Lake Lanier
Design
Through truss
Dimensions
Length of largest span: 326.8 ft.
Total length: 1,372.0 ft.
Deck width: 27.7 ft.
Recognition
Eligible for the National Register of Historic Places
Approximate latitude, longitude
+34.26172, -83.95099   (decimal degrees)
34°15'42" N, 83°57'04" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
17/228276/3795116 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Chestatee
Inventory numbers
GA 11700220 (Georgia bridge number on the National Bridge Inventory)
BH 44966 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection (as of 08/2015)
Deck condition rating: Fair (5 out of 9)
Superstructure condition rating: Fair (5 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Fair (5 out of 9)
Appraisal: Functionally obsolete
Sufficiency rating: 39.5 (out of 100)
Average daily traffic (as of 2012)
14,130

Update Log 

  • May 18, 2017: Updated by Amber Rhea: Updated formatting
  • May 21, 2012: Updated by Nathan Holth: This bridge is now doomed.
  • March 1, 2012: Updated by Eddie Douthitt: Merged data
  • April 22, 2010: Added by James Legg

Sources 

Comments 

Browns Bridge
Posted April 4, 2016, by Anonymous

This bridge is not even deficient either, it is in fair condition according to the report. This is really an atrocity, as its replacement will be an eyesore. Luckily one youtuber had the bright idea to film a drive across it http://youtu.be/oFo88nVgDKw so there is video record of it's existence as well as photographs.

Browns Bridge
Posted May 24, 2012, by Brian (bnhwillard [at] gmail [dot] com)

This bridge is being studied for replacement. Unfortunately the replacement bridge appears to be a concrete cookie cutter. If you want to see it in person, make plans to do so over next couple of years. For latest details on the replacement plans, check the Georgia DOT website.