6 votes

Tombigbee River Swing Bridge


Columbus Swing Bridge

View from the Columbus (East) side of the Tombigbee River (Old Channel).

Photo taken by John Cross in December 2009


BH Photo #150556


Street View 


The Columbus swing bridge contractor was S.J. Riley. The bonding company, Hartford Accident and Idemnity Company, completed the bridge in 1927 after S.J. Riley was killed during bridge construction.

The bridge was converted to one-lane traffic in 1989 following an underwater bridge inspection. The swing bridge was closed to vehicles in 1991 when a new bridge was built adjacent to this one.

FROM HAER REPORT: The bridge is 604' long, consisting of eight reinforced concrete girder spans, two 90' pony steel trusses, and one steel swing truss span. The spans rest on concrete piers. The bridge carries two ten foot traffic lanes and a three foot pedestrian walkway on the North side. The driving surface was timber with an asphalt overlay.

The swing span operated manually with a capstan. Operating the capstan turned the swing span ninety degrees to the roadway and created an opening for river traffic to pass through. River traffic had died out at the time the bridge was built and the anticipated renewal never materialized. It is believed that the swing span was never used other than the testing required for project completion.


Swing Bridge over Tombigbee River on Old 82/Island Road West side of Columbus
Columbus, Lowndes County, Mississippi
Open to pedestrians only
Built 1927; Converted to a one-lane bridge in 1989; Bypassed by a new bridge, closed to vehicles in 1991, restored for pedestrian opening 2013
- Hartford Accident & Idemnity Co.
- S.J. Riley of Columbus, Mississippi
Center 202' riveted steel Camelback through truss turn span, two 90' riveted steel Warren pony truss approach spans and eight reinforced concrete girder approach spans.
Length of largest span: 202.0 ft.
Total length: 686.0 ft.
Deck width: 19.8 ft.
Vertical clearance above deck: 13.8 ft.
Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on November 16, 1988
Also called
Columbus Bridge
Columbus Swing Bridge
Jackson Road Bridge
Terry W. Brown Memorial Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+33.49337, -88.43425   (decimal degrees)
33°29'36" N, 88°26'03" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
16/366763/3706904 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Columbus South
166 ft. above sea level
Inventory numbers
NRHP 88002396 (National Register of Historic Places reference number)
BH 43727 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • January 12, 2015: HAER photos posted by Dave King
  • September 30, 2014: New photos from Zachary S
  • December 2, 2013: New Street View added by Bill Eichelberger
  • November 27, 2013: Updated by Clark Vance: Noted reopening to pedestrians
  • August 26, 2013: New photo from Douglas Butler
  • May 27, 2012: Updated by Jodi Christman: Added name and HAER details
  • June 14, 2011: New photos from Ben Tate
  • May 24, 2010: Updated by C Hanchey: Added bridge details
  • December 9, 2009: Updated by John Cross: New Listing, NRHP info, photos, and information

Related Bridges 


  • John Cross - jcrossiam [at] gmail [dot] com
  • C Hanchey - cmh2315fl [at] yahoo [dot] com
  • Ben Tate - benji5221 [at] yahoo [dot] com
  • Jodi Christman - masterofchaos [at] outlook [dot] com
  • HAER - HAER MISS,44-COLUM,24- Tombigbee River Bridge, Spanning Tombigbee River at State Highway 182, Columbus, Lowndes County, MS
  • From youtube - A two minute walk across the unrestored bridge
  • Douglas Butler
  • Clark Vance - cvance [at] dogmail [dot] com
  • Bill Eichelberger
  • Zachary S
  • HAER MS-13 - Tombigbee River Bridge, Spanning Tombigbee River at State Highway 182, Columbus, Lowndes County, MS


Tombigbee River Bridge
Posted February 23, 2016, by Glyn Robinson (contactbluebird [at] hotmail [dot] com)

I will have to make the trip to Columbus to see the bridge and of course eat at Ole Hickory!

Tombigbee River Bridge
Posted January 13, 2015, by Dave (potiukd [at] gmail [dot] com)

It's nice to see a lovely old bridge like this saved and rehabilitated.

Tombigbee River Bridge
Posted September 30, 2014, by Zachary S

Restoration appears complete, and oh what a gorgeous restoration it is. Looks brand new. Not sure how much historic integrity was lost in the restoration but the results are nevertheless dramatic and impressive. It is certainly open to pedestrians now, or at least no one stopped me when I walked across it...

Tombigbee River Bridge
Posted November 27, 2013, by Clark Vance (cvance [at] dogmail [dot] com)

A restoration win:


Some of the quoted comments on the value of this restoration can be informative to others considering similar projects.

Tombigbee River Bridge
Posted August 3, 2013, by Clark Vance (cvance [at] dogmail [dot] com)

This bridge is being restored as part of a river walk park. There is a concert stage under the concrete approach spans.

As of 1 Aug 13 the trusses are covered while paint removal is proceeding.


This looks like a win for preservation and reuse of historic trusses.

Columbus Swing Bridge
Posted May 26, 2012, by Carl Craig (duwa [at] bellsouth [dot] net)

Isn't a "swing" but turrent. It was design to be hand cranked to open position to allow steamboats & tugs to pass under it. It was design that way, but shipping that far north on this river was over by the time it was built. Commercial shipping would not return until the 1980's with the Tenn-Tom Waterway, which by-passed this part of the river.

Columbus Swing Bridge
Posted January 15, 2012, by Ben Tate (benji5221 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

Thanks. I corrected it.

Columbus Swing Bridge
Posted January 15, 2012, by John Cross (jcross [at] cross-photography [dot] com)

The item someone states as part of an older bridge is modern and looks to me to be a barge tie-up.