The bridge has been widened, but the arch itself is among earliest in state. Association with old highway adds historic value.
The bridge carries a striped four-lane street and sidewalks over Hawks Gulley (aka Augusta Canal, 3rd Level) south of the intersection with Telfair St. in downtown Augusta. The immediate setting is redeveloped with a modern apartment complex to the southwest and an expressway overpass to the north. The bridge is within the boundaries of the Augusta Canal & Industrial Historic District (listed 5/27/71, amended 1/6/76; National Historic Landmark, 12/22/77). The district includes the canal (1845-47, enlarged 1874-76) and associated mill buildings. The boundaries extend 15' to either side of the canal and its spillways, and include all of the canal walls and gates with a period of significance to 1924. Other than the Butt Memorial Bridge, the other bridges over the canal are not specifically rated or mentioned in the nomination.
The one span, 42'-long and 71'-wide, brick arch bridge is finished with brick spandrel walls and parapets with corbelled caps. The arch ring is stuccoed and scored to appear as stone voussoirs. The eastern parapet has a large crack that needs attention.
Summary of Significance:
The brick arch is dated ca. 1917 based on comparison with other documented examples over the canal in Augusta. It is a late example of the brick arch technology that has been in use in the state since at least the Central of GA RR in the 1850s. Although not individually distinguished by its technology, the bridge is located in and contributing to the Augusta Canal & Industrial HD (NR 1971, NHL 1977) because it dates from the period of significance which is from 1845 to 1924. According to the HAER history of the canal, the only large-scale coordinated effort to improve the canal was in the enlargement in the mid 1870s in a very successful project to revitalize the canal and attract water powered industrial development to the city. For the next 50 years, the canal provided faithful service to the industries along it, but canal repairs and maintenance were on an as-needed basis, often following floods that damaged the canal and its structures (major floods in 1908, 1929, and 1936). Sanborn maps from the 1880s to 1890s show that the canal was crossed throughout much of the city by wood bridges, which were progressively replaced in the early to mid 20th century with a variety of bridge types, from brick arches to reinforced concrete and steel.
GADOT. Bridge Inspection File & Plans.
Historic American Engineering Record. Augusta Canal. HAER GA-5. 1977.
Georgia Historic Preservation Office. NR Survey Files.
Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps, 1884-1922.