Located in and contributes to Augusta Canal & Industrial HD, NR 1971, NHL 1977. Bridge placed near close period of significance. Brick arch not uncommon in GA.
The bridge carries a striped four-lane street and sidewalks over Hawks Gulley (aka Augusta Canal, 3rd Level) south of the intersection of 15th St. and Broad St. in downtown Augusta. The immediate setting is redeveloped with a modern commercial strip to the south. 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 1 span, 43'-long and 52'-wide brick arch bridge, built ca. 1917, has been widened to both sides with cantilevered concrete slab deck sections that are dated ca. 1936 by style/history. The arch has an 8-row, header, brick arch ring and 6-course common-bond spandrel walls and flared wingwalls. The ca. 1936 concrete parapets atop the cantilevered deck sections have rounded walls with cylindrical posts at the ends. The earlier concrete parapets have been extended and raised with brick parapets ca. 1990. The original stone builders plaque has been reset in the brick parapets.
Summary of Significance:
The brick arch is dated ca. 1917 based on the builders plaque, which lists James R. Littleton as mayor. Littleton was Augusta's mayor in the mid 1910s. 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, and it has been altered by widening and replacement of the parapets. The widening is dated ca. 1936 based on style and the history that this area was severely damaged in a 1936 flood that required a number of concrete repairs to this section of the canal around the Hawks Gulley outlet to the Savannah River. Although not individually distinguished, 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 the enlargement of the mid 1870s in a very successful project that revitalized 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. The brick arch superstructure of this bridge is its significant contributing characteristic, not the later alterations which are visible at street level. street level.
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.