Recent South Carolina Comments

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Glendale Bridge (South Carolina)
Posted January 4, 2017, by David Eike (eikes [at] sbcglobal [dot] net)
CSX/NS Overpass (South Carolina)
Posted September 20, 2016, by Roger Hill (rogerlhill [at] charter [dot] net)

Trying to find photos of an old single lane plate girder bridge that was about and 1/8 to 1/4 mile above this one. It went over the clinchfield railroad at boundry drive. It was replaced in the mid 70's by a steel concrete two lane bridge.

Posted August 30, 2016, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Not sure if this is a "pieced-together" structure or all original, but whatever the case it is very unique. This would be a beautiful location to make a park with a trail going over the dam on a renovated truss bridge!

Posted August 29, 2016, by Nathan Holth (nathan [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

Ironic this popped up in the updates tonight... I was working on Luten bridge research (in Washington State)... but this SC bridge also appears to be of Luten patent design (meaning built by company with rights to the Luten patent). The solid railings with rectangle outline plus the ends having one panel of railing slightly tower seem to be reliable for associating Luten patent involvement.

Ashley River Bridge (South Carolina)
Posted August 9, 2016, by kathie jordan (mcgallery [at] knology [dot] net)

vh1 channel 13 to hail tender for opening

Posted May 2, 2016, by Andrew Penik

If you are coming from Abner creek Rd side of bridge on Mayfield you can see the old right of way this is now a drive way for house close to bridge. what I saw inside the bridge didn't look too old but the wooden floor looked ax cut and very old I still believe its an old crossing before the 1984 bridge was built

Posted March 30, 2016, by Clark Vance (cvance [at] dogmail [dot] com)

It might also be the remains of something that someone thought worth preserving, at least visually. There's a story here, probably more than someone put some aged lumber over steel stringers.

There's probably someone local who could explain.

Posted March 29, 2016, by Will Truax (Bridgewright [at] gmail [dot] com)

Not historic, not a truss, I don't even consider it a covered bridge.

It's a decoration dragging down the stringers holding it up.

Posted March 29, 2016, by Andrew Penik

I need to go back and take more pictures. I couldn't believe I found this bridge, only records I could find say it was build in 1991 and no way that's possible after seeing it up close.

they recently replaced the current bridge that was built in 1984 with a new one so the area around it was cleaned out reveling the covered bridge.

Posted March 29, 2016, by Barry (bllauver [at] toad [dot] net)

It appears to be a steel stringer with a housing over it, perhaps to protect the wooden floor. The outriggers suggest there may once have been a truss of some sort. Any ideas?

Posted March 28, 2016, by Patrick McBriarty (patrick_mcbriarty [at] yahoo [dot] com)

This bridge is scheduled for replacement with a higher fixed bridge viaduct by SCDOT. Construction should begin in the Fall of 2017 and will take approximately three years at an estimated cost of $56 million dollars.

There is a local movement to try and save the bridge, but struggle to find any real historical significance to the old swing bridge. SC has nine moveable bridges, but doubt this is remarkable enough to save from replacement especially since federal funding has been established and the planning and engineering phase was completed in 2014.

Congaree River Bridge (South Carolina)
Posted February 2, 2016, by Anonymous

Bridge was replaced in 2012

Shem Creek Bridge (South Carolina)
Posted January 14, 2016, by Andrew Penik

went kayaking on Shem Creek in 2014 and you can see where it was an original 2 lane bridge and was added on to

Posted January 13, 2016, by Andrew Penik

I was surprised to find original approaches form the first bridge

Posted November 30, 2015, by Virginia (ginnysob [at] hotmail [dot] com)

When was this bridge built?

Gervais Street Bridge (South Carolina)
Posted October 5, 2015, by Nathan Holth (webmaster [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

This photo gallery includes two photos of this bridge and two truss bridges during the record floods in this area.

Posted September 29, 2015, by Luke

Three Civil War cannons were removed from the river near this bridge:

Posted August 5, 2015, by Anonymous

Image 3 is copyrighted property of Low Country Today:

Posted August 5, 2015, by Anonymous

Photo 3 is a copyrighted work of Panoramio user Sara Dean

Ligon Bridge (South Carolina)
Posted April 19, 2015, by Anonymous

They tore the bridge down

Poinsett Bridge (South Carolina)
Posted March 31, 2015, by ArtS (asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)

A little write-up on the bridge's haunting with a nice picture:

Posted February 14, 2015, by Zachary S

Now gone.

Posted December 3, 2014, by K. A. Erickson

It shows up better on the Bing maps, for those interested.

Posted December 3, 2014, by Andrew (ajpenik [at] aol [dot] com)

There is another forgoten arch bridge on SC296 over the Middle Tyger River on an the old part of 296 (Hollifield Rd)

as you cross the current bridge going towards Spartanburg look to your right its about 300ft in the woods! just past the state farm office! hope to have its own listing soon!

Broad River Bridge (South Carolina)
Posted December 3, 2014, by Andrew (ajpenik [at] aol [dot] com)

The new bridge is nice and has great detail to it!

Posted November 26, 2014, by Andrew (ajpenik [at] aol [dot] com)

This Bridge is a must see for every SC resident, I was there the opening day and have the commemorative coin that was handed out along with the bottle water, newspaper and bridge picture fan! I have biked it over 10 times and it never gets old! An amazing bridge for a wonderful city!

Posted November 26, 2014, by Andrew (ajpenik [at] aol [dot] com)

US 29 used to curve around to Daniel Morgan Ave thats why the side wall of the over pass have kind of a 45 degree turn to them!

Beaufort River Bridge (South Carolina)
Posted April 24, 2014, by BGL (bglipsitz [at] yahoo [dot] com)

Bridge actually opened to the public on Thursday, December 17, 1959.

Posted April 20, 2014, by Betty Jo Abbott holland (jholland781 [at] carolina [dot] rr [dot] com)

I own property on both sides of this bridge and railroad cut. Do you know when the bridge will be replaced and reopened. Thanks. Betty Jo Abbott Holland

Old Rogers Bridge (South Carolina)
Posted April 18, 2014, by Andrew (ajpenik [at] aol [dot] com)

thanks for posting

Wyse Ferry Bridge (South Carolina)
Posted January 24, 2014, by Chris Knight

Found a Video on YouTube I posted to the page. It's very interesting. The Road Deck is gone so all that remains is the superstructure.

Wyse Ferry Bridge (South Carolina)
Posted January 4, 2014, by Kelly McClanahan

Added this bridge from the comments from the Old Kimberling City Bridge, in Stone County, MO. Perhaps the pictures and comments can be moved over.

Tyger River Bridge (South Carolina)
Posted December 16, 2013, by Anonymous

I agree, Matt. The general construction style is like a pin-connected - but it's riveted, so I'd guess at 1915-1930. Clearly not 1962, unless someone had the pieces for a complete bridge sitting in storage for 30+years.

Tyger River Bridge (South Carolina)
Posted December 16, 2013, by Matt Lohry

I would argue the build date on this bridge; 1962 is more likely a relocation date--the build date is more likely in the 1910's to 1920's somewhere, looking at the design details.

Cobb Bridge (South Carolina)
Posted November 2, 2013, by Rick Jackson (rickjemail [at] gmail [dot] com)

Passed thru the area last summer/early fall (2013) and the bridge was being worked on by a contractor. Looked as though it was being sandblasted at that time; the bridge was covered with tarps and traffic over the Chauga (Chau-gee' around here) was not allowed. Do not know the extent of the repairs/refurb will be, but will check it out with the Oconee Bridges and Roads Dept. and post an update to this comment.


Long Creek, SC

Posted October 2, 2013, by jayhawk

It's very possible to build attractive concrete non-arch bridges, even on interstate highways:

Posted October 2, 2013, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

One of the more attractive "Non-arch" concrete spans I have seen. Puts me in mind of a smaller scale version of this one:

Posted October 2, 2013, by Nathan Holth (form3 [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

Very nice looking bridge! Although listed as a slab in the NBI, this may in fact be a concrete rigid-frame.

Posted September 23, 2013, by Luke Harden (lukemh9 [at] gmail [dot] com)

I couldn't find any documentation showing that this bridge is open to pedestrians (At least officially.)

Enoree US-221 Bridge (South Carolina)
Posted September 22, 2013, by Andrew (ajpenik [at] aol [dot] com)

When you look from the bridge down stream you can see the pier from the first bridge across the Enoree River on a rock island that took SC Hwy 92 across and met up with US 221.

Lower Gassaway Bridge (South Carolina)
Posted September 6, 2013, by Don Morrison

Whatever it is at those coordinates looks like it might be an old span. It may have connected River Street to Six Mile Norris Highway. It may also just be a flatbed trailer or something. Bing bird's eye is not clear at all, and Google maps shows low quality.

Looks like a number of roads in the vicinity are named "____ Bridge Road", but there are also a number of modern bridges.

It looks like a neat area to explore, with old dams and other interesting sites as well.

Posted September 6, 2013, by Michael Miller (michael_a_miller [at] yahoo [dot] com)


You are absolutely correct. It will be lost forever IF a google streeview car ever passes through there, but I highly doubt it will be anytime soon as the upstate of SC is not covered very well by streetview. Also, this is a very narrow & rural road and I was shocked that they had even been on this road.

All that being said, I know you can take a screenshot & then crop the picture, but I don't know about copyright issues.


Lower Gassaway Bridge (South Carolina)
Posted September 6, 2013, by Michael Miller (michael_a_miller [at] yahoo [dot] com)

I wish I had seen your comment before I went up there last Thursday! I was within a quarter mile of the lat/long that you gave. I'll take solace in the fact that I was pressed for time and might not have had a chance to look at what you spotted and will just have to venture back up there in a few weeks!

Kelsey Creek Bridge (South Carolina)
Posted September 5, 2013, by Michael Miller (michael_a_miller [at] yahoo [dot] com)

I field confirmed the bridge yesterday. It has indeed been demolished & replaced with a newer concrete stringer structure. I have included a picture of the new structure.

Posted August 27, 2013, by Don Morrison

Streetview says Image Date May 2008.

Is there a way to archive a streetview image other than a screenshot picture? Next time a Google car goes through there, the present image will be lost, I presume?


Posted August 27, 2013, by Michael Miller (michael_a_miller [at] yahoo [dot] com)

I had the opportunity to drive there yesterday (8/26/2013) hoping to get a great picture of this bridge. Unfortunately, I discovered that the old Pony Truss bridge has been demolished and replaced. Didn't look like it was too new of a structure, either, so it's been around for a couple of years, at least. The Google Streetview must be several years old.

Posted August 23, 2013, by Michael Miller (michael_a_miller [at] yahoo [dot] com)

I cannot confirm what the description says about painting with the school name to keep vandals from painting it, but if it is true, it works because I live in Spartanburg & I have never seen that bridge with any vandalism on it.

Posted August 20, 2013, by Fmiser (fmiser [at] gmail [dot] com)

Nice find, Michael!

I was puzzled by the missing span at the east end. There doesn't seem to be the remains of substructure for it. But then I found out the dam was built as a hydroelectric plant. It looks to me like the generators were at the east end - and possibly the bridge was access to the building and not "just" a span over the river.

Lower Gassaway Bridge (South Carolina)
Posted August 19, 2013, by Don Morrison

The HABS documentation in the link suggests that the bridge collapsed in 1982. It was a 6 panel Howe covered bridge.

This bridge page was probably added in 2008 from the HABS Docs, since it has no map location and no photos.

That said, Google maps does show something possibly of interest at 34.774537,-82.773008

Lower Gassaway Bridge (South Carolina)
Posted August 19, 2013, by Michael Miller (michael_a_miller [at] yahoo [dot] com)

Sadly, I believe this bridge has actually been demolished since it was intially posted in 2008. I do not see it on any aerial shots of the area. I will follow-up with field recon & update listing, if needed. If it's still there, I'll get a picture up on the site.

Posted August 12, 2013, by Michael Miller (michael_a_miller [at] yahoo [dot] com)

Pictures of the Glendale Bridge in 2011.

Posted August 12, 2013, by Michael Miller (michael_a_miller [at] yahoo [dot] com)

Here are some pictures of the Campbell's Covered Bridge from 2011.

Saluda River Bridge (South Carolina)
Posted August 9, 2013, by Bennett (benediction24925 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

My girlfriend and I took a bike ride out to here today and sadly found that the bridge is gone... The old road bed is still there and traces of the bridge can be seen on both sides of the river but the bridge has been torn down. Don't know any details.

Posted August 9, 2013, by Michael Miller (michael_a_miller [at] yahoo [dot] com)

As of 8/9/2013, this bridge has been closed to traffic.

Five Mile Viaduct (South Carolina)
Posted June 18, 2013, by Carl Phillips (tinknocker29406 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

It's being torn down. They say it isn't safe.

Posted June 11, 2013, by Nathan Holth (form3 [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

Based on the abundance of rolled beams on the truss, as well as some truss members that have plate with so-called "punched holes" I would suggest the truss dates to at after 1940 and rests on a substructure from a previous bridge. The truss could be as late as the 1960s.

Posted June 11, 2013, by John Marvig (johnmarvig [at] chaska [dot] net)


Based on the riveted connections of the bridge, but the stone masonry on the substructures, I would say about 1900 to 1905. Would others here agree with my conclusion?

Posted June 11, 2013, by Robert (rwbiker [at] aol [dot] com)

Was wondering when this North Main Street Railroad Bridge was built ? Thank you

R Watkins

Blythewood, SC

Broad River Bridge (South Carolina)
Posted April 24, 2013, by Joey (ljlucas2894 [at] aol [dot] com)

This bridge is presently being replaced.

Posted April 8, 2013, by Joseph Hinson (joethephotog [at] yahoo [dot] com)


I have added a history to this wonderful treasure in South Carolina as well as one of my own photographs. Please click on this and see what is so cool about a never-used, mostly incomplete railroad tunnel in South Carolina.

Hampton Avenue Bridge (South Carolina)
Posted February 17, 2013, by Bennett

This was by far one of the coolest bridges in Greenville and it is a crying shame that it was torn down without any sort of effort to repair it first (like the Queen Street bridge)... I used to ride my bicycle over it nearly everyday or come here to eat and lunch and talk to other people crossing over. The city should at least build something new (and cool) to replace it and reconnect this part of the west side of Greenville to the Hampton-Pinckney area.

Posted February 11, 2013, by Joseph Hinson (joethephotog [at] yahoo [dot] com)

I'm always scouting the web for other pictures of this structure. Bridge and rail fans in the Columbia, SC area love this bridge and in the grane scheme fo things, it hasn't been gone that long. (1991 or 1992) Google Earth imagery only goes back to 1994 in this area, so that's a no go.

Any ideas on other places to look beside searching Google for "Lincoln Street Viaduct" or some variation?

Hampton Avenue Bridge (South Carolina)
Posted January 30, 2013, by Anonymous

Now this is a bridge that I could look at all day - unlike the ugly thing on the Pete Hollis mega-express-thoroughfare.

Pete Hollis Bridge (South Carolina)
Posted January 30, 2013, by Anonymous


Posted January 24, 2013, by Joseph Hinson (joethephotog [at] yahoo [dot] com)

Thanks for adding. I had forgotten about this bridge as well as the "Southern Railway" on the side of it. If I'm not mistaken, Spartanburg has three railroad companies with their names on bridges -- the Southern, Atlantic Coast Line and Clinchfield, neither of whom exist anymore!

CSX Railroad Bridge (South Carolina)
Posted December 29, 2012, by Joseph Hinson (joethephotog [at] yahoo [dot] com)


That must be right then. I drove over that bridge a bit in the late 90s and early 2000s and never paid attention to it, I guess.

CSX Railroad Bridge (South Carolina)
Posted December 28, 2012, by Don Morrison


It looks like you have the right bridge. It is listed in the 1992 and 2000 NBI pages as wood bridge. From the other bridge you have listed at these coordinates, it would seem that the structurally deficient wooden bridge was replaced in 2004 by the bridge seen in streetview and listed in the 2012 NBI.

CSX Railroad Bridge (South Carolina)
Posted December 28, 2012, by Joe H. (joethephotog [at] yahoo [dot] com)

This bridge in Union, SC is not a wood bridge. Likely the one here now ( as seen in the Street View) replaced the wood bridge, but I don't know when because I do not remember it. It's a little off my beaten path, but the road is fairly busy. I looked on NBI and could not find the right bridge to put here.

Posted December 11, 2012, by Joseph Hinson (joethephotog [at] yahoo [dot] com)

Thanks for the comment, Clark!

Posted December 11, 2012, by Clark Vance (cvance [at] dogmail [dot] com)

Some of these railfan pictures like this one are great! Not only do they show the esthetic value of bridges, but I'm starting to enjoy looking at the trains....

Posted November 8, 2012, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Could be as old as around ca.1910

Posted November 8, 2012, by Byron leonard (Byronlnrd [at] gmail [dot] comm)

How old is the reidville rd bridge?

Posted November 8, 2012, by Byron leonard (Byronlnrd [at] gmail [dot] comm)

How old is the reidville rd bridge?

Hampton Avenue Bridge (South Carolina)
Posted September 27, 2012, by Monterrio Jackson (Gruulninja [at] gmail [dot] com)

You could see the fireworks downtown on this bridge.

Posted August 10, 2012, by Bill Lucas (billy [dot] lucas [at] gmail [dot] com)

...I understand this bridge was re-built in 2004 but where can the "new" vertical height be found???

It's not shown on any chart including latest & greatest NOAA ENC.

This info is difficult to obtain; just curious as to why.



Posted July 12, 2012, by Anonymous

destroyed by teenagers partying at the bridge

Enoree River Bridge (South Carolina)
Posted June 8, 2012, by Robert Elder

Mr. Figlar:

Most of our information comes from the National Bridge Inventory (NBI). Although the NBI is not perfect, it is generally a good resource. However, most bridges that have been abandoned for many years are not listed on the NBI. I suspect that might be the case with this bridge.

Thus, Bridgehunter relies on individuals who can devote time to individual bridges. County records, as well as county and state historical societies can be a good start. We would love to have complete information about every historic bridge in the country, we are just not there yet. However, we are slowly trying to build up this database.

Contrary to popular belief, Bridgehunter is not an official government website, so us users generally have to find bridge information ourselves.

Enoree River Bridge (South Carolina)
Posted June 7, 2012, by Dick Figlar (Richardfiglar [at] bellsouth [dot] net)

How come there is no information provided here on the old Enoree River Bridge (Hwy 418), such as when it was built and how long it was in service. Seems like there should be lots more to learn about this fantastic old bridge.

Posted May 9, 2012, by Robert L. Stephens (tylerhotel [at] hotmail [dot] com)

I made only one round-trip across these bridges, in 1977. They were beautiful in their construction, but scary to cross. The road was very narrow, with the feeling of being enclosed in a massive steel cage. The worse thing was how peaked they were, causing one to lose sight of the road ahead as the top was approached. One drove over the peak without being able to tell what was ahead. There could have been a stalled car or accident and it could not be seen until starting down again.

Cooper River Bridge (South Carolina)
Posted March 6, 2012, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Yes...I do agree with you about the lacing and lattice Matt!

Cooper River Bridge (South Carolina)
Posted March 6, 2012, by Matt Lohry

I do agree that the truss beats any UCEB any day of the week--maybe it's a type that I'd get used to, but I've never been a fan of the box truss. It's just too square and utilitarian (perfect term, Mike!) for my tastes--at least at the present. I do highly agree, it beats a cable-stayed or boring concrete bridge. I'm a big fan of the intricate details of historic trusses (V-lacing, lattice, battens, etc.) that add so much beauty to a truss bridge. Maybe I'm old-fashioned, or maybe just old! :) Anyway, thanks for the input--always appreciated coming from other bridge enthusiasts!

Cooper River Bridge (South Carolina)
Posted March 6, 2012, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Hey's a truss bridge! In this world of slabs and girders and OH!...let's put up a cable-stayed bridge!!... I'll take it! I kinda like the omitting of verticals and the upper lateral bracing with no struts.

I faced the same dilemma last year when I visited Cincinnati. Sandwiched in between the Roebling and L&N (Purple People) Bridges is the Taylor Southgate Bridge. It was built about the same time as the Cooper River Bridge and is also a continuous Warren truss. Unfortunately this span replaced the iconic Central Bridge which was one of the earliest cantilevered bridges to be built, and now even wears it's plaques and some of it's decorations. Now, there's no doubt that any one of us would gladly sacrifice the current bridge to have the old one back. But it is gone and this modern truss has taken it's place. I wasn't initially impressed but as I photographed all of these spans I found that this bridge did have some of it's own character and I got some pretty nice shots of it...especially when it was illuminated at night.

No, it's not historic...but it might just be someday. And it is certainly better than a slab or a stayed bridge.

Cooper River Bridge (South Carolina)
Posted March 6, 2012, by Michael Goff (michael [dot] goff [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Ugly may be a bit insensitive to the bridges feelings. I would agree it's a bit on the utilitarian side.

It is unique in the fact that it is not just another post-tensioned box gider.

Posted March 6, 2012, by Robert Thompson (rkt [dot] engineering [at] gmail [dot] com)

Actually, I can think of a few bridges I have posted where that classification would be most appropriate. I don't think you're out of line.

Cooper River Bridge (South Carolina)
Posted March 6, 2012, by Matt Lohry

Was it unfair of me to add "ugly" as a category for this bridge? It is difficult for me to find truss bridges that I consider "ugly", but this one IS UGLY!!

Posted February 14, 2012, by Adrienne Boland (adrienneboland [at] yahoo [dot] com)

Ah yes, the lovely Grace Bridge. My uncle would crawl as far in to the floorboard of the car as he could every time we crossed this one! One of my all time favorites.

Beaufort River Bridge (South Carolina)
Posted January 11, 2012, by Stephen Jones (wxstormchaser32 [at] gmail [dot] com)

I have a lot of info on this bridge since I was born/raised in Beaufort SC..Known as the Woods Memorial Bridge and was famously in movies such as Forrest Gump, and The Great Santini

Kelsey Creek Bridge (South Carolina)
Posted November 3, 2011, by Nathan Holth (form3 [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

Based on Street view, looks like this bridge was replaced.

Posted July 12, 2011, by Julie Bowers (jbowerz1 [at] gmail [dot] com)


That is exactly the information I was looking for. Thank you so much. I will try to do some research on the hows and whys of bridge failures, but I expect you are right as well. Overloaded vehicles, drunk drivers, too big farm equipment all play a role.

My feeling is that a one lane bridge in the country is not a big deal, The farmer I'm dealing with though is happy that River Road is closed. He doesn't get that much traffic now.

Thanks again.


Posted July 11, 2011, by Clark Vance (cvance [at] dogmail [dot] com)

The term "fracture critical" is two scary words put together. When the first example people name is the I-35W bridge, the term becomes less a technical term and more emotional. I'm not a civil so I talked to a friend who is. He thinks the term as used is vague. It certainly means that something bad will happen if a single unit of the structure fails, but what this bad thing actually is--the structure fails at dead load, max live load, or just unacceptable loads being transferred to other members--varies with who is using the term.

One person might describe a structure as fracture critical if the loss of one member transfers loads to other members in excess of their design loading, which is usually very conservative and thus might result in no immediate effect on the structure. Another might reserve the term for a structure that will immediately collapse upon the failure of a single member.

In short, when someone speaks ill of an old truss claiming it's fracture critical, we need to ask whether they mean total failure, damage to a portion, unacceptable deflections, or simply loads outside of the margin of safety for the remaining structure. The term sounds scary to the average listener and we should make certain that anyone using it is prompted to explain exactly what they mean in terms of what can happen to the structure being discussed.

It might be interesting to look at some of the trusses that are documented on this site as having failed to see how they failed. It seems the cause is usually a grossly overloaded truck and the damage ranges from a tire sized hole in the deck to total collapse. Being able to show actual data might give some perspective to discussions on the safety of older trusses.

Posted July 11, 2011, by julie bowers (jbowerz1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Clark. What actually are the percentages behind fracture critical. Can we devise some tests. I understand section loss and functionally obsolete and redundancy. Also as far as loading it is a number. Safe has no number. Risk seems to have a number but it changes as to what is acceptable. Really sincere about trying to shut the spin down and testing seems to be one way. Julie

Posted July 7, 2011, by Clark Vance (cvance [at] dogmail [dot] com)

I'm not sure why Dr. Kim chose this bridge or site to post his information.

He's correct in stating that truss bridges lack some of the redundancy built into other designs (they are "fracture critical"), and metal will crack and fail due to fatigue over time.

He seems to be suggesting that one way around this shortcoming, as an alternative to complete replacement, is to add the steel arch we've seen used to strengthen some older trusses. It's debatable whether adding this additional structure truly "preserves" the original structure, but it does prevent its complete removal. In that sense, he seems to share our belief that sometimes replacement is not the best option.

Unfortunately, most older trusses have other shortcomings such as width, vulnerability to crash damage, deteriorating abutments, etc. that make their preservation less than the ideal engineering solution. My metaphor would be maintaining an old car. I love my '63 Mercedes but, even though it was ahead of its time in terms of engineering, there is no way I can justify using it as a daily driver. The improvements in safety and efficiency in the last 50 years cannot be duplicated in the '63 without altering it unacceptably.

A highway engineer would be irresponsible to suggest keeping old technology for bridges just as an automotive engineer would be for suggesting building a car without seat belts, a collapsible steering column, disc brakes, or crumple zones.

In order to be practical to preserve, older bridges must have some valuable quality beyond their use for allowing safe, easy movement across an obstacle. Getting a large enough group of people to value these qualities will always be the key to preservation.

(I have letters behind my name--mostly scarlet....)

Posted July 7, 2011, by Julie Bowers (jbowerz1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Thanks for the reformat. Engineers always point to the I35 Bridge collapse. That bridge was built by engineers in 1967, and it had some problems from that engineering. Today engineers continue to take out fractions of a bit of steel to save money, they don't trust pins, they think iron is tired and old because its old, but unless it's gone through the serious damage, and even then, it can be fixed, welded, riveted.

This letter is an example of one that went to every SHPO and DOT in the country. It is tragic about the I35 bridge collapse, but it sparked a one-way conversation that needs to end now.

Using the words fracture critcal on an iron bridge that has withstood the test of time seems wrong. We are able to beef these bridges up and the redundancies are built into the over engineering of the time.

Our engineers run the numbers, tell us what we need to replace and how to fix the rest, and we go on. But this type of engineering sets us back.

Please sir, let's continue the conversation. Although I have no letters after my name, I do understand the concepts and I've seen the work in progress.


Posted July 7, 2011, by Clark Vance (cvance [at] dogmail [dot] com)

The .docx format is the new MS Word format. I've converted it to the older .doc format so those without the latest Windoze software can read it. The short document speaks of the advantage of reinforcing existing trusses with arches, a structurally sound idea but not in line with preserving the original structure.

Posted July 7, 2011, by Julie Bowers (jbowerz1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

I couldn't open your document. I am always interested in what engineers are saying.

The engineers that I work with understand that iron bridges are still strong. They were engineered with more material that engineers today with their computer models. Redundancy was built in with two eyebars and the pin connections. The rust on iron is not significant and these bridges can be fixed.

Why don't you post what you want to say or put it in a.doc document. I would like to read it. Thanks. Julie

Posted July 6, 2011, by Jai B. Kim, PE and PhD (jaikim [at] bucknell [dot] edu)

See attachement --Concerns for most truss bridges for the safety.

Gervais Street Bridge (South Carolina)
Posted April 12, 2011, by Robyn Watts (robyntw247 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

The Gervais St. Bridge was rehabilitated in 1994.

Old US 123 Bridge (South Carolina)
Posted February 12, 2011, by Matthew Lohry

Looks like a perfect match to me...the A-frame portal bracing and internal sway bracing are identical, the bridge is 8 panels, and Google Earth shows a gap of approximately 153 feet between existing spans, which is exactly the length of this one. Even the railings were retained and used on the Cobb bridge.

Old US 123 Bridge (South Carolina)
Posted February 11, 2011, by Anthony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Could be.......

The pics of the Cobb Bridge don't include a good side view, but it does appear to have the same number of panels and overall similar appearance.

Posted February 11, 2011, by Kevin Harbin (kharbin [at] nctv [dot] com)

Locals here say that the center span was removed and was relocated to the Cobb Bridge/Chauga River location in Oconee County, SC off of US 76.

Poke here and see if you concur... I have travelled over this span many times in my work, but have not yet had the occasion to stop and look for any signs that can prove/disprove this rumor.