Natchez Trace Birdsong Hollow Arch Bridge
It is impossible to photograph this bridge from a bad angle
Photo taken by Calvin Sneed in November 2010
BH Photo #188865
The Birdsong Hollow Arch Bridge on the Natchez Trace Parkway is comprised of 122 pre-cast, post-tensioned, trapezoidal hollow box girders, fabricated at a specially-constructed factory 12 miles away in Franklin, and hauled individually to the site of the crossing at Birdsong Hollow. The boxes were then positioned with a Linkbelt 714 crane, using the cantilever method and cable stays, similar to the construction process of the Linn Cove Viaduct on the Blue Ridge Parkway (please see Avery County, North Carolina). The designers of that bridge also designed this one, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of the Interior, to minimize environmental damage to the valley floor, 155 feet below.
This bridge is the first segmentally-constructed bridge in the U.S. It was built with no spandrels that normally spread the weight of the bridge along the concrete or steel arches. The live load of the bridge is resting on the crowns of the two concrete arches in the middle, flattened to accept the weight and distribute it evenly to the arches.
Written by Calvin Sneed
Presidential Award - Design Excellence 1995
Award of Merit, Federal Highway Administration, Department of Transportation, 1996
Outstanding Achievement, Eleventh International Bridge Conference, 1994
Excellence in Highway Design, Federal Highway Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation, 1997
- Concrete double-arch segmental bridge on the Natchez Trace Parkway at Birdsong Hollow in Williamson County Tennessee
- Williamson County, Tennessee
- Open to traffic
- Built 1995 to bridge the gap over the Little South Fork of the Harpeth River and State Highway 96, one of the last segments to be built on the Natchez Trace Parkway
- - FIGG Engineering Group of Tallahassee, Florida
- PCL Construction Enterprises of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
- The Natchez Track Arch Bridge is a concrete, double-arch, segmental bridge, the first of its kind ever built in the United States. It is composed of 7 spans (with 2 main ones, the longest 582 feet long, and the shorter one 462 feet long), slightly skewed about 20 per cent (more pronounced on the southern end), 155 feet above the valley floor at the apex of the longer extension.
Length of largest span: 582.0 ft.
Total length: 1,571.9 ft.
Deck width: 37.0 ft.
- Skew angle
- 19 degrees
- Also called
- Birdsong Hollow Bridge
- Approximate latitude, longitude
- +35.98613, -86.99229 (decimal degrees)
35°59'10" N, 86°59'32" W (degrees°minutes'seconds")
- Approximate UTM coordinates
- 16/500694/3982409 (zone/easting/northing)
- Quadrangle map:
- Leipers Fork
- 659 ft. above sea level
- Average daily traffic (as of 2011)
- Inventory number
- BH 32730 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
- Inspection report (as of March 2015)
- Overall condition: Good
Superstructure condition rating: Good (7 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Good (7 out of 9)
Deck condition rating: Good (7 out of 9)
Sufficiency rating: 96 (out of 100)
View more at BridgeReports.com
- November 22, 2018: Updated by Clark Vance: Added category "First of its kind"
- July 10, 2014: New photos from Andrew Raker
- December 10, 2010: New Street View added by Matthew Lohry
- November 28, 2010: Essay added by Calvin Sneed
- Calvin Sneed - us43137415 [at] yahoo [dot] com
- Matt Lohry
- Wayne Grodkiewicz - WGrodkiewi [at] aol [dot] com
- Andrew Raker