Rating:
7 votes

Marion Memorial Bridge

Photos 

Overview

Photo taken by James Adorno

BH Photo #108900

Map 

Street View 

Description 

When the new Dixie Highway extension for U.S. 41 was proposed through Haletown, this bridge was built as a toll bridge and dedicated to the county's veterans on the new highway alignment (the old Dixie Highway is still State Highway 28 through Ketner's Gap and down to Suck Creek). When TVA impounded Nickajack Lake downriver, all the trusses were raised by hydralic lift 21 feet higher to allow for barge traffic on the lake's new elevated level. Although the Parker spans resemble K-Parkers, they are not K-spans. In the 1920's and 30's, Tennessee utilized the K-span concept to strengthen the state's longer Parker spans, but for financial reasons, did not incorporate the entire design into the superstructures. They are now called K-Truss Hybrids. The reference "K-truss hybrid" is a term I coined for a type of K-truss in Parker and Camelback spans that reverses the "K" in appearance to the left of the center of the truss span. The former Tennessee Highway Department only built 10 of these bridges. All are now gone. The Tennessee Department of Transportation now recognizes the term "K-Hybrid" I coined, in describing this particular type of construction in Parker and Camelback spans. Closed permanently, January 9, 2012. - Calvin Sneed

Facts 

Overview
Lost 2 Parker K-Hybrid Camelback through trusses, and 2 Warren through trusses with Polygonal top chords, all riveted, over Nickajack Lake (Tennessee River)
Location
Marion County, Tennessee
Status
Demolished
History
Built 1929; tolls removed 1947; rehabilitated 1966, and raised 21 feet higher when Nickajack Lake was impounded. Closed permanently January 9, 2012; Demolished 2015
Builders
- Tennessee State Highway Department
- Tennessee Valley Authority
Design
Two Parker (Camelback design) through truss main spans with K-panel hybrids;
Two Warren PTC through truss approach spans
Dimensions
Length of largest span: 369.1 ft.
Total length: 1,870.1 ft.
Deck width: 20.0 ft.
Vertical clearance above deck: 14.6 ft.
Recognition
Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on September 6, 2007
Also called
Haletown Bridge
Marion Veterans Memorial Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+35.02814, -85.54532   (decimal degrees)
35°01'41" N, 85°32'43" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
16/632701/3877130 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Sequatchie
Inventory numbers
NRHP 07000930 (National Register of Historic Places reference number)
TN 58SR0020023 (Tennessee bridge number)
BH 32614 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection (as of 09/2008)
Deck condition rating: Fair (5 out of 9)
Superstructure condition rating: Poor (4 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Fair (5 out of 9)
Appraisal: Structurally deficient
Sufficiency rating: 25.5 (out of 100)
Average daily traffic (as of 2009)
2,250

Update Log 

  • May 4, 2017: Updated by Chris Simmons: This Bridge Has Been Demolished
  • May 3, 2017: New photos from Chris Simmons
  • May 21, 2015: Updated by Ben Tate: This bridge is now completely gone.
  • May 12, 2015: New photos from Calvin Sneed
  • January 25, 2015: New photos from Ben Tate
  • March 2, 2014: New photos from Jack Schmidt
  • March 27, 2012: New photos from Ben Tate
  • January 9, 2012: Updated by Calvin Sneed: Correction: Closed permanently January 9, 2010.. salvage is possible...pictures to come.
  • January 8, 2012: New photos from Kim Harvey
  • January 7, 2012: Updated by Calvin Sneed: Closed permanently January 8, 2012
  • August 27, 2010: New photos from Calvin Sneed
  • April 10, 2010: New photos from Calvin Sneed
  • March 10, 2010: Updated by Eddie Douthitt: Added Google Street View
  • February 2, 2010: Updated by Calvin Sneed: All Parkers built in Tennessee used K-panels that made them look like K-Parkers, but they were not. They, including this one, were called "K-hybrids," but definitely Parkers only.
  • January 31, 2010: Updated by Calvin Sneed: Looked at the original paperwork for this bridge. Despite the similiarities toward the middle of the 2 Parker spans, they are not K-Parker's. They're just regular Parkers.
  • December 12, 2009: Updated by Matthew Ridpath: This is actually a K-Parker through truss
  • March 31, 2009: Updated by C Hanchey
  • April 18, 2006: Posted photos from James Adorno

Sources 

  • James Adorno
  • C Hanchey - cmh2315fl [at] yahoo [dot] com
  • Calvin Sneed - us43137415 [at] yahoo [dot] com
  • Matthew Ridpath
  • Eddie Douthitt - eddied1962 [at] charter [dot] net
  • Kim Harvey
  • Ben Tate - benji5221 [at] yahoo [dot] com
  • Historicbridges.org - by Nathan Holth
  • Jack Schmidt - jjturtle [at] earthlink [dot] net
  • Chris Simmons - atlanta_bulldog_red [at] yahoo [dot] com

Comments 

Marion Memorial Bridge
Posted August 7, 2015, by Alan Walker (awalker1829 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

I was sorry to hear that the bridge was to be replaced. It was indeed a bit narrow to drive over. I recall one of the old men I knew mentioning a fatal wreck on the bridge due to a semi driver being unfamiliar with the dimensions of his load-in that case a bulldozer that had a blade that hung over the side of the trailer. According to the old man, the load tipped over when the blade hit the end of the first span, causing it to crush a passing car.

Marion Memorial Bridge
Posted February 4, 2015, by Zachary S

Sad to see only the two spans remaining when passing through there earlier this week. The replacement bridge is quite an eyesore; the view here is now much less pleasant.

Marion Memorial Bridge
Posted January 26, 2015, by Ben Tate (benji5221 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

James,

This link explains why they decided to replace it.

http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/news/story/2011/dec/28/td...

Marion Memorial Bridge
Posted January 26, 2015, by James Wireman (jameslovesbridges_86 [at] ymail [dot] com)

Why was this bridge Replaced? This bridge wasn't that Bad. I know you cannot take any of that back now since its already done, but I would like to find out about why they did that in the First Place.

Marion Memorial Bridge
Posted January 25, 2015, by Ben Tate (benji5221 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

Only the 2 k-truss spans remain.

Marion Memorial Bridge
Posted December 16, 2014, by Ben Tate (benji5221 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

It appears the eastern approach has been removed. Only the 3 truss spans remain.

Marion Memorial Bridge
Posted November 6, 2014, by Robert Thompson
Marion Memorial Bridge
Posted September 22, 2014, by Andy Peters (anpete [at] yahoo [dot] com)

Memorial Bridge slated for demolition. No date scheduled yet for demolition, according to Chattanooga Times Free Press.

http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/2014/sep/21/traffic-to-be...

Marion Memorial Bridge
Posted August 11, 2012, by jackwooten (jackwooten37 [at] uyahoo [dot] com)

I have lived 0ver 48 yrs near this bridge and see it every day. it has bese on of the most frustratung things to see this bridge traated like a piece of junk , just today fdrove to HALETOEM LOOK LIKE DRIDGE IS ABOUT ATH DESTROYED WJHY HAS THE TRUTH NEVER BEEN TOLD OPN THIS HISTORIC BRIDGE, IT IS STOMACH TURNING THE WAY THIS BRIDGRE HAS BEEN TREATED, SHAME ON OUR OFFICIALS AND TDOT ANMD BRIDGE BUILDER FOR JUNKING HISTORY OPF hALETOWN AND SHOWING DISRESPECT TO OUR VETS SHAME ON YOU ALL.

JACKWOOTEN THIS WAE SHORT COLULD OF SAID MORE MUCH MORE ON THIS SUBJECT. jackwooten37@yahoo.com

Marion Memorial Bridge
Posted March 27, 2012, by Ben Tate (benji5221 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

I visited this bridge today. I've added 40 photos to the page. They've already started construction for the new bridge. One pier is complete and another is under construction. Does anyone have any updates on the fate of the historic bridge?

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

This is so sad- last time I went across this bridge was back in March of 2010. I took a video going across it, but the phone it was on has since bit the dust. :(

Marion Memorial Bridge
Posted January 29, 2012, by D. W. Adams (weetbixmarmite [at] yahoo [dot] com)

I had been across this bridge once when I was a kid because we missed our turn for I-24 leaving Chattanooga, but I did get to drive across it once in December 2010 on our way from Tullahoma to Pigeon Forge. My wife, half-asleep but aware we had left the Interstate, asked me, "Where the hell are we going?" I replied, "It's a shortcut."

Marion Memorial Bridge
Posted January 10, 2012, by Jamie Lawson (lawson179 [at] gmail [dot] com)

I attended the closing ceremony yesterday, Jan. 9. Sad to see it go, but one just can't stop the march of time.

Marion Memorial Bridge
Posted January 9, 2012, by Nathan Holth (form3 [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

Don't hold it in your mouth... let it out in a...

Marion Memorial Bridge
Posted January 8, 2012, by james mccray (jamesinslocomb [at] yahoo [dot] com)

Seen this bridge many times in my life. I am sad to know this bridge will soon be no more......kind of makes me wanna throw up in my mouth a little bit.

Marion Memorial Bridge
Posted January 8, 2012, by Kim Harvey

I just made the trip through the area last year and took a few photos from I-24 heading north.

Marion Memorial Bridge
Posted January 7, 2012, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

I passed this beautiful span on many occasions during my frequent trips from Florida to Indiana and back between 1984 and 1993. It was a landmark that I always looked for and enjoyed seeing each time and even made a couple of stops to visit.

The thought of seeing those graceful trusses replaced with a nondescript and utterly mundane slab makes me glad that I no longer make that trip!

Marion Memorial Bridge
Posted December 28, 2011, by David Eike (eikes [at] sbcglobal [dot] net)

Article about this bridge with a nice mention of frequent contributer, Mr. Holth:

http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/2011/dec/28/tdot-to-close...

Marion Memorial Bridge
Posted April 1, 2011, by J.P.

Went pass bridge yesterday, and its still standing as of now. though it looked like TDOT vehicles were parked on the north shore of the bridge.

Marion Memorial Bridge
Posted April 15, 2010, by Calvin Sneed (us43137415 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

Thanks for the info! I should have known better LOL! Often, I get obsessed with getting the pictures that I forget about my own safety. Not that the bridge is going to get up and run away from me, but I still get caught up in the magnificence of these old bridges any time I'm privileged to photograph one. Will definitely check out the safety gear.

Marion Memorial Bridge
Posted April 12, 2010, by Nathan Holth (form3 [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

Calvin,

Over at HistoricBridges.org, we use lightbars on our cars and reflective vests on our bodies. Keeps our cars and bodies safe, especially when deck and road widths are narrow and traffic volumes are high, and we tend to get less of those "strange looks" from people because we are dressed appropriately for the job at hand. You can order this sort of safety equipment easily over the Internet.

Marion Memorial Bridge
Posted April 11, 2010, by Calvin Sneed (us43137415 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

Since the powers that be have scheduled this elegant superstructure for demolition, I elected to go and capture as many pictures of this magnificent bridge as possible. They are posted.

I will indeed miss its majestic artwork. Surely, the local folks can save it as a pedestrian bridge. It's on the National Register after all.

If you visit, DO SO AT YOUR OWN RISK! There is absolutely no place to park anywhere near it. I parked and walked up to it, and got strange looks from passing cars, including two state troopers.

Probably safer to just enjoy the pictures..I didn't miss anything.

Marion Memorial Bridge
Posted April 1, 2009, by Gene McCluney (mccluney [at] sbcglobal [dot] net)

There are several reasons why. One, the area prior to the construction of the lake floods, and the bridge needed to be long enough to allow traffic in average flooding conditions. Two, the road grades were high, and the bridge needed to be long enough to connect to the road grades on each side beyond the projected flood areas.

Marion Memorial Bridge
Posted March 31, 2009, by James Gonzalski

How was this bridge built in 1929 if Nickajack Lake didn't exist where the bridge is today until a new dam was built downstream from it in the 60s some time? Hales Bar Dam, which was the original dam from 1913 that created Nickajack Lake was upstream from the bridge.

Surely the bridge didn't have to be as long as it is now before it spanned the lake prior to 1968 or thereabouts?

Is it certain that there wasn't a totally different bridge there before 1968?

Thanks for any insight!

Marion Memorial Bridge
Posted December 28, 2008, by Anthony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Being from Indiana and living in Florida from 1984-1993, I made many trips back and forth. I found this bridge while traveling I-24 on one of those trips. I believe it is a K-truss of sorts. A beauty that I hope stays around for a long time.

Marion Memorial Bridge
Posted December 28, 2008, by Eddie Douthitt (eddied62 [at] alltel [dot] net)

I drove across the bridge today, it's seems like it's still in good shape. I had forgotten just how narrow it is, a white knuckle ride for sure...lol

Marion Memorial Bridge
Posted February 13, 2007, by James Adorno (adorno423 [at] aol [dot] com)

This bridge is scheduled for replacement in Spring of 2008, provided they can get the money. A group of concerned citizens is working currently to get the bridge listed on the NRHP.