Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Drew Narrow Gauge Bridge over Suwannee River

(Bridge Hunter, Historic Bridges, Tap LineSatellite, Google Photo, Flickr1Flickr2)

John Darnell posted
My view on the weekends.....
The spindly nature of this bridge caught my eye. It was installed for a narrow gauge railroad for the Drew Lumber Company and was hand cranked. "Built between 1869-1874 at an unknown location, purchased 1899, installed 1901; abandoned 1920." [Bridge Hunter] "This railroad bridge was reportedly moved here from Brazil and put into service at this location around 1901, and abandoned in 1920. Its original construction date is unknown, but it displays cast iron elements and unusual details that are characteristic of early metal truss bridges. As such, this bridge is presumed to be one of the oldest surviving swing bridges in the country, if not the oldest. Its assumed age, unusual design, rare use of cast iron beams, and lack of alteration to the trusses, place it among the most significant historic truss bridges in the country." [Historic Bridges] The bridge is a demonstration that iron, both cast and wrought, doesn't rust as easily as steel does. It has been almost a century since it was abandoned, and I'm sure that nobody has painted it during that time.
Link from Bridge Hunter
Trains going across the Drew Bridge, taken ca. 1909.
State Archives of Florida
Suwannee & San Pedro Railroad train crossing Drew Bridge over the Suwannee River
Reading the comments on Bridge Hunter, I learned that the truss was swept off the pier by a flash flood. Fortunately, it suffered little damage, and it has been mounted back on its pier again. And then I learned that may be "fake news" created by a comment troll. (It is a shame that our society has invented the concept of "fake news.") And then I quit reading the comments.

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