4 votes

Cartersville Bridge


Cartersville Bridge

Photo taken by C Hanchey in June 2009


BH Photo #141964

Street Views 


Abandoned composite wood and iron pratt through truss bridge over James River
Cumberland County, Virginia, and Goochland County, Virginia
Built 1884; Damaged by flood in 1972 and the two end spans and piers remain
- Richmond & Alleghany Railroad Co. (RA)
Composite Wood and Iron Truss
Length of largest span: 159.0 ft.
Total length: 843.0 ft.
Vertical clearance above deck: 12.3 ft.
Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on September 14, 1972
Approximate latitude, longitude
+37.66977, -78.08723   (decimal degrees)
37°40'11" N, 78°05'14" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
17/756904/4173169 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Inventory numbers
NRHP 72001390 (National Register of Historic Places reference number)
BH 42903 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • January 14, 2022: New photos from Dylan Clarke
  • November 29, 2021: New photos from Dylan Clarke
  • October 25, 2021: New photos from Dylan Clarke
  • September 18, 2020: Updated by Jimmy Walters: Added category "One-lane traffic"
  • November 23, 2019: New photos from Geoff Hubbs
  • August 26, 2014: Updated by Luke: Added categories "Railroad", "Rail-to-road"
  • October 3, 2013: Photo imported by Dave King
  • June 29, 2009: Added by C Hanchey



Cartersville Bridge
Posted November 29, 2021, by Dylan Clarke (bebodc05 [at] icloud [dot] com)

While looking around the area at some historic aerial imagery it appears there used to be another bridge across the James between Columbia and Cartersville, so looks like I may have some more research to do.

Cartersville Bridge
Posted November 29, 2021, by Dylan Clarke (bebodc05 [at] icloud [dot] com)

Thank you both so much for the information, it is much appreciated!

Cartersville Bridge
Posted November 29, 2021, by Luke

The person writing those articles didn't research as much as they should've for their articles...

Attached is a screenshot of the HAER documentation, which is also in the sources section, in which you can read about the predecessor Burr arch truss being built in 1820.

Cartersville Bridge
Posted November 29, 2021, by Paul Plassman


I just added the Historic American Engineering Record data pages under "Sources", which help explain the long history of this bridge. It appears that the stone piers date from 1822, but the original superstructure was replaced in 1842 and again in 1884. The first iron bridge in the United States was not built until 1839, so any bridge from 1822 would have been either totally wooden (as the original Cartersville Bridge was) or stone. Metal would not have been an option for any of the members in 1822.

That said, this is one neat and unusual bridge! I can't say I've ever seen one like it.

Cartersville Bridge
Posted November 29, 2021, by Dylan Clarke (bebodc05 [at] icloud [dot] com)

The bridge page states that this bridge was built in 1884, but the news article I found states it was built in 1822. Now that is a seriously large gap, and I feel like there needs to be some clarification here, but I would like to see what sources the creator of the bridge used in determining the age of the bridge, if they still use the site, before I change the date on the page.

Cartersville Bridge
Posted November 13, 2012, by russ randolph (rescue30 [at] msn [dot] com)

i crossed that bridge a year before it got washed out. i was so sad. i loved that bridge

i have some good pictures of it