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First High Bridge

Photos 

First High Bridge

Side view of High Bridge of 1877. Lots of I-bars in this bridge.

Louis Edward Nollau High Bridge Photographic Collection, 1910-1911 University of Kentucky

Enlarge

View this photo at kdl.kyvl.org

BH Photo #162303

Map 

Description 

The longest (1125 feet) and highest (275 feet) cantilever bridge in the world when built in 1877. It was the highest bridge of any type in North America until 1888 when Young's High Bridge was built to 283 feet a few miles away. A new bridge was built around this bridge in 1910-11 which was 308 feet tall, surpassing Young's High Bridge. The 1877 bridge continued in use during construction of the new bridge around it and was only dissembled sometime after the 1911 bridge was in use. The Cincinnati Southern Railway was and still is owned by the city of Cincinnati. Contract cost for bridge was $390,000. Final cost of the bridge was $404,856.58. Cincinnati Southern Railway built and owns the bridge. Cincinnati, New Orleans & Texas Pacific (CNTP) leased and continues to lease the line from Cincinnati Southern though CNTP is owned by Norfolk Southern (formally Southern).

Facts 

Overview
Lost Deck truss bridge over Kentucky River on Cincinnati Southern Railway at High Bridge
Location
High Bridge, Jessamine County, Kentucky, and Mercer County, Kentucky
History
Built 1876-77, new superstructure built in 1910-11, original substructure demolished in 1913
Builders
- Baltimore Bridge Co. of Baltimore, Maryland
- Charles Shaler Smith of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
- L. F. G. Bouscaren
Railroad
- Cincinnati Southern Railway (CNTP)
Design
Whipple deck truss
Dimensions
Length of largest span: 525.0 ft.
Total length: 1,125.0 ft.
Also called
Cincinnati Southern Railway High Bridge
Kentucky High Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+37.81711, -84.71998   (decimal degrees)
37°49'02" N, 84°43'12" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
16/700688/4187972 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Wilmore
Inventory number
BH 44851 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • January 22, 2017: Updated by Ed Hollowell: Attempt to clarify the ownership, lease holder and operator of this property.
  • January 10, 2017: New photos from Dave King
  • April 25, 2012: New photos from Jacob P. Bernard
  • March 25, 2012: Updated by Ed Hollowell: Better defined ownership of the bridge and relationship of Cincinnati Southern Railway and Southern Railway.
  • April 13, 2010: Updated by Ed Hollowell: Added Information on builders, cost and truss lenght and type.
  • April 12, 2010: Added by Ed Hollowell

Sources