2 votes

Harry Forden Bridge


Main Truss Span

Note that the front posts are of an unequal length

Photo taken by Matthew Ridpath


BH Photo #136271


Street Views 


"This 1911 riveted Pratt through truss bridge is individually significant as an excellent representative of its type and also contributes to the Wilmington Historic District. It was constructed jointly by the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad and the City of Wilmington. That is, the Wilmington Board of Aldermen ordered the railroad company to construct bridges, including this one, across a railroad cut it had made that divided one part of the city from another. Bids for the bridge were let in 1910 and the Southern Construction Company of Burlington, North Carolina was selected to build it. Its proposed cost was $7,500. The contract was a failure, for Southern Construction left town in 1911 with an incomplete bridge and a large outstanding bill from the Des Moines Bridge & Iron Company, which fabricated the structure. The press reportedly called the situation the "Sixth Street Muddle." In the summer of 1911, A.D. O'Brien, a Wilmington civil engineer, was awarded the contract to complete the bridge. His bid was $1,400 and he did indeed complete the structure that fall. The bridge, which is still intact, is 150 feet long and skewed, because Sixth Street and the railroad cut are not perpendicular to each other."-NCDOT


Through truss bridge over Abandoned Seaboard Coast Railroad on 6th Street in Wilmington
Wilmington, New Hanover County, North Carolina
Open to traffic
Built 1911; rehabilitated 1978
- A.D. O'Brien of Wilmington, North Carolina (Engineer)
- Des Moines Bridge & Iron Co./Works of Des Moines, Iowa (Fabricator)
- Southern Construction Co. of Burlington, North Carolina (Erector)
- Atlantic Coast Line Railroad (ACL)
- Seaboard Coast Line Railroad (SCL)
Riveted, skewed, 7-panel Pratt through truss
Span length: 149.0 ft.
Total length: 149.0 ft.
Deck width: 17.1 ft.
Vertical clearance above deck: 16.3 ft.
Listed as a contributing resource to the Wilmington Historic District
Also called
6th Street Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+34.24361, -77.94278   (decimal degrees)
34°14'37" N, 77°56'34" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
18/228975/3793086 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Average daily traffic (as of 1991)
Inventory numbers
NC 1290033 (North Carolina bridge number)
BH 23295 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection report (as of April 2018)
Overall condition: Poor
Superstructure condition rating: Poor (4 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Fair (5 out of 9)
Deck condition rating: Poor (4 out of 9)
Sufficiency rating: 20.5 (out of 100)
View more at BridgeReports.com

Update Log 

  • June 26, 2020: New photo from Geoff Hubbs
  • January 17, 2016: New photos from Royce and Bobette Haley
  • August 11, 2015: Updated by Royce and Bobette Haley: Added builders and description
  • July 26, 2011: New Street View added by Irma Hale
  • March 10, 2010: Updated by Matthew Ridpath: Added Street View
  • March 31, 2009: New photos from Matthew Ridpath
  • December 7, 2008: Updated by Matthew Ridpath



Harry Forden Bridge
Posted October 8, 2020, by Nathan Holth (webmaster [at] historicbridges [dot] org)
Harry Forden Bridge
Posted June 27, 2020, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Pic #29 is not of the same bridge. It appears to be an older pin-connected span. I looked at Historic Aerial photos from 1969 and there was a truss bridge on 5th Street as well, perhaps that bridge. It was gone by the 82' imagery and wasn't replaced until several years later.

Harry Forden Bridge
Posted August 30, 2013, by Jeremy (Jeronimo_911 [at] hotmail [dot] com)

This bridge is in one tree hill

Harry Forden Bridge
Posted July 25, 2013, by Andrew Pearce

Pretty certain that this is the bridge in nearly every episode of the CBS show "Under the Dome".

Harry Forden Bridge
Posted March 11, 2010, by Jason Smith (JDSmith77 [at] gmx [dot] net)

A couple questions about this bridge:

1. Was this bridge used in the film "Raw Deal" with Arnold Schwarzeneggar when it was released in 1985? The bridge looks familiar for some reason. Look at the beginning of the film with the cop- motorcyclar chase and see what you think.

2. Are there plans for converting the abandoned railline into a bike trail? It looks like despite having the rail ties removed that it has been used as a hiking path for awhile.


PS, It is a really nice bridge though. Traffic lights serving as a signal to drivers to take turns should be used more often on bridges like these...

Abandoned SCL Railroad Bridge
Posted June 17, 2008, by Philip D. Gaston (pdgaston [at] ncsu [dot] edu)

Taken April 2008

Abandoned SCL Railroad Bridge
Posted June 17, 2008, by Philip D. Gaston (pdgaston [at] ncsu [dot] edu)

This bridge's posted rating will change soon. It is currently posted at 22 Tons for single axle vehicles and 30 Tons for tractor trailor trucks. The actual rating is about half that.

6th Street Bridge over Abandoned SCL Railroad
Posted June 17, 2007, by Tom S. (thomass [at] nc [dot] rr [dot] com)

Single lane bridge over SCL railroad bed. Photos taken June 17, 2007.