Rating:
5 votes

George Rogers Clark Memorial Bridge

Photos 

Overview

Photo taken June 2005 by James Adorno

BH Photo #103320

Map 

Street Views 

Essay 

Written by J.P.

This bridge plays the center piece to Thunder Over Louisville, The largest annual fireworks show in North America. The bridge is closed from the Thursday before the show till the Monday after.

Facts 

Overview
Cantilevered through truss bridge over Ohio River on US 31 between Louisville and Jeffersonville
Location
Jeffersonville, Jefferson County, Kentucky, and Clark County, Indiana
Status
Open to traffic
History
Built 1929 by the American Bridge Co.; tolls removed 1946; rehabilitated 1958
Builders
- American Bridge Co. of New York
- Modjeski & Masters of Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania (Design)
- Paul Philippe Cret (Architect For Pylons)
- Ralph Modjeski of Bochnia, Poland (Design)
Design
Cantilevered Warren through truss
Dimensions
Length of largest span: 819.6 ft.
Total length: 5,746.5 ft. (1.1 mi.)
Deck width: 38.0 ft.
Vertical clearance above deck: 13.5 ft.
Recognition
Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on March 8, 1984
Also called
Louisville Municipal Bridge (official name until 1949)
Second Street Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+38.26407, -85.75147   (decimal degrees)
38°15'51" N, 85°45'05" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
16/609225/4235851 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
New Albany
Inventory numbers
KY 056-B00136N (Kentucky bridge number)
NRHP 84001578 (National Register of Historic Places reference number)
BH 18825 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection (as of 06/2014)
Deck condition rating: Good (7 out of 9)
Superstructure condition rating: Fair (5 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Fair (5 out of 9)
Appraisal: Functionally obsolete
Sufficiency rating: 51.3 (out of 100)
Average daily traffic (as of 2009)
14,800

Update Log 

  • February 18, 2017: New photo from Daniel Barnes
  • September 15, 2016: Updated by Christopher Finigan: Added categories "Pin-connected", "Riveted"
  • October 27, 2014: New photo from Michael Miller
  • July 11, 2014: New photos from Andrew Raker
  • July 10, 2014: New photo from Andrew Raker
  • July 9, 2014: New photo from Andrew Raker
  • April 29, 2013: Updated by J.P.: bridge is reopened after thunder.
  • February 11, 2013: Updated by Nathan Holth: Added Architect.
  • February 9, 2013: New photos from J.P.
  • February 5, 2013: New photo from J.P.
  • February 6, 2012: New photos from C Hanchey
  • April 16, 2011: Essay added by J.P.
  • March 11, 2011: New photo from J.P.
  • September 28, 2010: New photo from Jacob P. Bernard
  • September 8, 2010: New photos from J.P.
  • May 3, 2010: New Street View added by Nathan Holth
  • April 19, 2010: Updated by J.P.: reopen
  • April 15, 2010: Updated by J.P.: updated for thunder
  • April 5, 2010: Updated by J.P.: added street view
  • March 7, 2010: New photos from J.P.
  • June 21, 2009: New photos from James McCray
  • May 28, 2008: New photos from Joe Virruso
  • October 10, 2005: Posted photo from James Adorno

Sources 

  • James Adorno
  • Joe Virruso - virrusofamily [at] att [dot] net
  • James McCray - jamesinslocomb [at] yahoo [dot] com
  • J.P. - wildcatjon2000 [at] gmail [dot] com
  • Nathan Holth
  • Jacob P. Bernard
  • Wikipedia
  • C Hanchey - cmh2315fl [at] yahoo [dot] com
  • Andrew Raker
  • Michael Miller - michael_a_miller [at] yahoo [dot] com
  • Daniel Barnes

Comments 

George Rogers Clark Memorial Bridge
Posted December 13, 2016, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Yeah, the Amman Awards feature some incredible bridges this year. Bridge of the Year will be a tough decision.

George Rogers Clark Memorial Bridge
Posted December 13, 2016, by Dana and Kay Klein

Do hate auto correct....

George Rogers Clark Memorial Bridge
Posted December 13, 2016, by Dana and Kay Klein

On a light note. Recall those days of your and feel sorry for this "special snowflake generation" I swam after eating, road my bike through the woods without a helmet and even ran with scissors! On a serious note: Popped into Bridge hunters chronicles , pretty impressive slate of bridges,. I would value your opinion for example Bridge of year is it more important to FIND these treasures ie Clarks Creek one of "Hidden bridge Nick's finds" or SAVE a known one Like Bach Steel Bowstring. Obviously both important as these seem to be front runners , Opinion?

George Rogers Clark Memorial Bridge
Posted December 12, 2016, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Deville. Bright red. I sold it a couple years ago. It no longer ran, and I knew that I was not going to have time to fix it up. It was sure a fun car to go Bridgehunting in though. I can't count how many times I took that old tank over the Creamery Bridge in Kansas...and the nearby Carey's Ford Bridge...those were the days...

George Rogers Clark Memorial Bridge
Posted December 12, 2016, by Dana and Kay Klein

Deville or Eldorado?

George Rogers Clark Memorial Bridge
Posted December 12, 2016, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

I am not even a resident of Louisville, but just having driven through the city a few times, I have figured that this toll plan will backfire.

I would not be surprised to see an increase in traffic on the Sherman Minton Bridge either. That one has always been busy when I have crossed...save for a 3 AM trip that I made across it as a teenager...in a 1973 Cadillac...

George Rogers Clark Memorial Bridge
Posted December 12, 2016, by Nathan Holth (webmaster [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

I very much enjoyed visiting this bridge recently. It is unaltered, with the unusual fact that there have never been any barriers added alongside the truss lines. For a photographer, this is great because it makes it easy to (when traffic clears) get out in the roadway for a mid-deck shot. Unfortunately, this bridge is about to get a 20% traffic increase, so getting those shots will soon be more difficult. What's ironic is this increase is actually the result of MORE bridges being built in the region... however these new bridges will be TOLLED, so people seeking to avoid the tolls will use this bridge (not tolled) more frequently.

https://riverlink.com/tolling-info/faq

George Rogers Clark Memorial Bridge
Posted July 1, 2014, by J.P. (wildcatjon2000 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Bridge will be closed on July 7th while the Indiana approach is reconfigured.

George Rogers Clark Memorial Bridge
Posted May 14, 2014, by Anonymous

there is someone that know there was a witnessed fatality of a crew of men in the construction of the bridge. It is a known among the people. Don't know how many men died. the scaffolding collapsed and the men fell into the pillar as it was being filled with concrete. could have been 2-16 who knows the number but it really happen. only old timers know anything of it.

George Rogers Clark Memorial Bridge
Posted March 3, 2013, by Anonymous2

You can find the strange story of William Branham's vision of the bridge at http://en.believethesign.com/index.php/The_Municipal_Bridge_...

George Rogers Clark Memorial Bridge
Posted September 11, 2012, by J.P. (wildcatjon2000 [at] gmail [dot] com)

No Religion, can live with that. I'll stick with relationships. Jesus and I are best buds. Been making Christian remarks since before anonymous.

George Rogers Clark Memorial Bridge
Posted September 11, 2012, by Luke Harden (lmharden [at] iastate [dot] edu)

Truth is a paradox

George Rogers Clark Memorial Bridge
Posted September 11, 2012, by Matt Lohry

No religion has been mentioned--just straight-up truth.

George Rogers Clark Memorial Bridge
Posted September 10, 2012, by Anonymous

Let's keep religion OFF this site, if you don't mind.

George Rogers Clark Memorial Bridge
Posted September 10, 2012, by James McCray (jamesinslocomb [at] yahoo [dot] com)

Of course this is the guy who is now dead and buried, but there is a land-line telephone in his tomb just in case he "resurrects" so he can call his believers and tell them that he has returned. Now here's the question: If the guy has the ability to resurrect, why on earth would he need a land-line phone??

Gee, I'm glad I know of ONE who really resurrected and that guy is also the same guy who created the known universe, which just happens to include the raw materials that we use to make land-line phones.

George Rogers Clark Memorial Bridge
Posted September 9, 2012, by Kelvin

Re: drownings

The story you are referring to originated as one of the "visions" of William Branham, a Christian evangelical faith healer from Jeffersonville, IN. He claimed to have envisioned 16 men falling to their deaths from the bridge - 22 years before it was built - as he stood on the banks of the Ohio as a child.

But there were problems with Branham's story. First of all, there is no record of 16 men having been killed during the construction of the bridge. Secondly, Branham's timing was way off; twenty-two years before the bridge was built, Branham (who said he was 5 or 6 years old when he had this vision) had not even been born yet.

Branham was a man of many visions and prophesies, including predictions that Los Angeles would sink to the bottom of the ocean and that 1977 would mark the beginning of the millennium. He was killed in a car accident in 1965.

George Rogers Clark Memorial Bridge
Posted August 14, 2012, by Bjornar Pedersen (bjorped [at] gmail [dot] com)

I was told that there once was big accident on this bridge when it was under construction. It was 16 people who drowned when they fall into the water. Is there anybody who knows something about this?

B.P.

norway

George Rogers Clark Memorial Bridge
Posted November 7, 2011, by Brad Lain

The answer is ( NO ) for connecting this big Bridge to an Interstate --- I refrain and refuse to travel on an Interstate because everytime I do , those crazy Semi Truck drivers go waaay too fast and try to run us off the road, when they pass us on the Highway it creates a vaccuum that blows air and makes us go into another lane and it is created from behind them, because they are going waaay faster then they should go , the Semi Trucks are way Bigger than a Car / Pick - Up Truck and a car that it uncontrollably blows people out of their lane when they pass because they always seem to go about 20 M.P.H than what they should so therefore if the speed limit on an interstate is 75 M.P.H then the Semi Trucks are traveling about 95 M.P.H and so therefore anytime I go to Louisville from Clarksville --- I use HWY 31 instead of I - 65 or I - 64 or I - 265 or I -264, the only HWYS i travel on are U.S HWYS and State Roads and if I find out that a State Road or an U.S HWY is merged with an Interstate --- I totally refrain from using it and avoid it, it makes me tense and nervous when those semi truck drivers act like they own the road and can do what they want to and speed past me when i dont know when they are even around me , but if someone wants to merge another HWY that goes out of state with this Big Bridge then let it just be a U.S HWY ( not an Interstate ) or else i won't use it, but i would never want to see someone merge I - 65 with U.S 31 since the only road I want to use to go from Louisville to Clarksville is HWY 31 ( not I - 65 or I - 64 or I - 265 or I - 264 )Interstates are " the " panic Road for me because of the Semi - Trucks going so fast , everytime I am on an Interstate they come up so fast behind us when passing us that i am scared that two things might happen ( 1 ) they might lose control and hit us when traveling or ( 2 ) make us lose control and then make us " unwantingly " go off into the side of the road or hit someone else. But I think that U.S. 31 and I - 65 and I - 64 and I - 265 and I - 264 should have their own separate Big Bridges then that way we can stay off the Interstate otherwise i will not know how to get to Louisville from Clarksville , but i get so nervous and tense and scared when those Semi Trucks speed past us when i am on any Interstate, when I go to Indianapolis I always use HWY 31 or when i go to Cincinnati i use ST RD 46 or U.S 50 never I - 74 , now I think that the reason that the semi truck drivers dont go so fast on HWY 31 as opposed to I - 65 or any intersate is because the 2 reasons ( 1 ) the stoplights / stopsigns slow them down ( 2 ) people can drive across traffic, but i dont want to see any interstate roads merged with a U.S HWY or a State Road --- just merge 2 State Roads or 2 U.S HWY's or a State Road with a U.S HWY. i love traveling on any ST RD or US. HWY , But not Interstates' the Semi Truck Drivers " never " go the speed limit when we are traveling on an Interstate , they get to excessive and will not slow down , if the speed limit is 75 MPH then drive that speed or slower --- not faster , i just think that HWY 31 should just be kept its own Big Bridge unless merged with another U.S HWY , But not an Interstate , keep the Interstate traffic on another Big Bridge then things will be calmer and more relaxing to go across , but it is not calm and relaxing when on an Interstate with Semi Trucks speeding past me and making me go into another lane i dont want to be in which can cause a wreck to happen and the way it would cause me to go into another lane is the air the speeding Semi Trucks create forces me off uncontrollably into the next lane then i have to swerve back to correct the mistake the air from the Semi - Truck caused by going too fast and it caused the air because the Semi Trucks are Heavier and bigger and since the volume of the truck is so big and they are going much faster then it tends to run someone off the road when they don't want to get off the road so please keep the US. HWY's Inrterstate free and dont merge any U.S HWY or State Road with an Interstate and the reason that the Semi Trucks go so fast is because the Interstates are so straight that they don't need to slow down for sharp curves or railroad crossings or stoplights / stopsigns but since you have sharp curves and stoplights / stopsigns on State Roads and US HWY.s then that makes things much calmer and not stressful to travel with

George Rogers Clark Memorial Bridge
Posted November 7, 2011, by J.P.

Was down on the river yesterday serving at a homeless ministry with the youth group I work in, when I was able to take this photo.

George Rogers Clark Memorial Bridge
Posted October 29, 2011, by J.P.

no new painting has taken place on the bridge. It seems they did the approach and the left it. Hoping once the sherman is open they will continue the painting.

George Rogers Clark Memorial Bridge
Posted May 23, 2011, by Gary (illiop [at] hotmail [dot] com)

It looks as though they just painted enough so the YUM center wouldn't have this huge eyesore next to it in its opening pictures/media coverage. Yet another botched job. Thanks metro for yet another failure.

George Rogers Clark Memorial Bridge
Posted September 8, 2010, by J.P.

just added a picture of the new yellow on the railings. they are working on the pony girder approach right now.

George Rogers Clark Memorial Bridge
Posted September 3, 2010, by J.P.

I just had a revelation. Yum, Ford, and UPS pretty much run this city. The should paint it the colors of those companies. So Red,Blue, and Brown. actually 2nd thought that just sounds horrible.

George Rogers Clark Memorial Bridge
Posted September 2, 2010, by Anthony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Plochman's Mustard Yellow would be my choice!

Would stand out nicely....not to mention they make the best mustard!!

George Rogers Clark Memorial Bridge
Posted September 2, 2010, by J.P.

as soon as the bridge is painted ill be sure to update the photo's

George Rogers Clark Memorial Bridge
Posted September 2, 2010, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

I like the multi-colored look personally...

http://www.bridgehunter.com/ks/brown/71025803360/

George Rogers Clark Memorial Bridge
Posted September 2, 2010, by J.P.

personally i wish they had painted blue. But that is my kentucky fan hood coming out. Would have looked nice right beside the new louisville arena. We heard it said that when its done it will be called the yellow brick road to rick pitinos palace.

George Rogers Clark Memorial Bridge
Posted September 2, 2010, by Nathan Holth (form3 [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

At least they aren't painting it black. In Michigan, half the time, we go through the trouble to preserve and restore our historic truss bridges, then we paint them black so nobody notices them and nobody can photograph them easily. I always like to hear that a truss bridge is being painted a lighter color. It helps bring the details out, like the rivets and the connection design.

George Rogers Clark Memorial Bridge
Posted September 1, 2010, by J.R. Manning (thekitchenguy [at] sbcglobal [dot] net)

Actually, a soft buttery-cream color, or pale yellow to most of us. To a bureaucrat, it's “Federal Standard Cream.” Only the government could figure out how to drain the life and soul out of a vibrant color by simply naming it.

Why not something like Creamy Custard, Cream Cloak, Cream Puff, Heritage Yellow, Lotus Flower, or even Yellow Brick Road?

[yawn] Federal Standard Cream. [/yawn]

(I wonder if "Federal Standard Cream" is the color of the Jennings Randolph Memorial Bridge over the Ohio River between Ohio and West Virginia?)

George Rogers Clark Memorial Bridge
Posted September 1, 2010, by J.P.

the bridge is being painted and rehabilitated. The color of this bridge will be a pale yellow.

http://www.courier-journal.com/article/20100830/NEWS01/30830...

George Rogers Clark Memorial Bridge
Posted April 15, 2010, by J.P.

The bridge is officially closed for the next 3 days as it will be loaded with fireworks, have the fireworks discharged, and then clean up on Sunday. For what is the biggest annual firework show in America AKA THUNDER OVER LOUISVILLE.

George Rogers Clark Memorial Bridge
Posted March 17, 2009, by Bill (bill [at] gmail [dot] com)

Huh? No way should this carry an interstate.

A) there's no interstate to connect it to unless you want to raze half of Downtown Louisville so it can carry part of I-65

B) not every bridge has to carry an interstate. This bridge is useful because it's the only pedestrian/bicycle link between Louisville and S. Indiana.

C) It's also used for many annual festivals (AIDS walks, bike races, etc.) without much hassle, whereas if it was an interstate that would need Federal approval each time... which can be very finicky.

George Rogers Clark Memorial Bridge
Posted August 15, 2007, by khaleel vineyard

I've been acrooss this bridge before. I just think they should connect it to an Interstate.

George Rogers Clark Memorial Bridge
Posted August 15, 2007, by khaleel vineyard

i've been acrooss this brige before. I wish they could connect it to the highway