2 votes

Brewster Bridge


Close inspection of the bridge underside reveals stalactites forming on the beams and stalagmites forming on the ground underneath

Photo taken by Calvin Sneed in July 2010


BH Photo #172848


Street View 


Abandoned concrete stringer bridge over Clear Fork River on former TN 52
Rugby, Morgan County, Tennessee, and Fentress County, Tennessee
Closed to all traffic
Future prospects
Available for reuse
Built in 1930 to replace the old Brewster Ferry, which served as the western entrance to the Historic Rugby Community; bypassed 1999
- Tennessee Highway Department
Due to the angle of the river crossing, the bridge and its piers are skewed 75 degrees
Length of largest span: 53.2 ft.
Total length: 358.9 ft.
Deck width: 25.9 ft.
Also called
Brewster Ferry Bridge
Old Highway 52 Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+36.35059, -84.73164   (decimal degrees)
36°21'02" N, 84°43'54" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
16/703548/4025223 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Inventory numbers
TN 25SR0520009 (Tennessee bridge number)
BH 45905 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • August 15, 2010: Added by Calvin Sneed


  • Calvin Sneed - us43137415 [at] yahoo [dot] com


Brewster Bridge
Posted December 26, 2018, by Clark Vance (cvance [at] dogmail [dot] com)

The 1896 Wartburg 15' shows a bridge here so the ferry must have been earlier.

Brewster Bridge
Posted December 26, 2018, by Ed Hollowell (erhollowell [at] aol [dot] com)

Same deposits as Big Walnut Creek in Indiana.

Brewster Bridge
Posted December 25, 2018, by Matt Lohry

These photos are very interesting—the white deposits are mostly a sodium carbonate material resulting from a process called alkali-silica reaction (ASR), where the highly alkaline cement binder in the concrete reacts with the high silica content in the aggregates to form a white gel. This gel expands and cracks the concrete over time to form crack patterns in the concrete (photo #12). This process takes many decades to occur, so you normally won’t see this in newer structures. Some of the heavy white stuff running down the side of the pier might be calcium deposits from either the river water or water running down from the roadway, but the white deposits seeping from the cracks in the concrete is likely the sodium from the ASR.

Brewster Bridge
Posted December 25, 2018, by Philip Walker (pcwalker [dot] tx [at] gmail [dot] com)

They've done some work in the area. The large mound of dirt is gone, replaced with concrete posts and turned into a hike and bike trail. Additionally, I found some abutments downstream from where the bridge is located. Looks like the bridge listed at this page is the second bridge.

Brewster Bridge
Posted August 16, 2010, by Calvin Sneed (us43137415 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

You're right.. this bridge was closed in 1999 when the new Brewster Bridge was built the same year, a half-mile downriver. You can see the new bridge in the distance through the trees to the left in the Street View.

I was shocked to find the calcium carbonate deposits forming stalagmites and stalactites underneath the beams. It is absolutely fascinating. This is the second bridge in East Tennessee where I have found those deposits forming. I thought those were common only in caves, not in the open.

Notice the pier construction. That's how you can tell a bridge built back in the day by the state highway department. The piers are always rounded with notches and groves every few feet.

I think the concrete bridges are just as historic as the steel trusses, but I'm more partial to trusses!

Brewster Bridge
Posted August 15, 2010, by Cliff Darby (clif30 [at] hotmail [dot] com)

PS Based on Historical Imagery in Google Earth, this bridge was likely open until at least 1998. The new bridge wasn't built until some time between 98 and 07

Brewster Bridge
Posted August 15, 2010, by Cliff Darby (clif30 [at] hotmail [dot] com)

I find abandoned concrete bridges to actually be as interesting as abandoned through-truss bridges. Thanks for this add, Calvin!