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Savannah Footbridge Middle

Savannah Footbridge Middle

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: November 14, 2014

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Pedestrian Walkway Over Drayton Ramp
Savannah: Chatham County, Georgia: United States
Structure Type
Metal Lattice Through Girder, Fixed
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
By Builder/Contractor: Unknown

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Not Available or Not Applicable
Main Span Length
Not Available
Structure Length
Not Available
Roadway Width
Not Available
1 Main Span(s)
NBI Number
Not Applicable

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)

Bridge Documentation

Savannah has three historic riveted lattice girder bridges, and one modern, non-historic welded lattice girder that carry pedestrians over the roadways between Bay Street and River Street. This is one of those three genuine historic bridges. Two of the historic lattice girder bridges are through girders, where the load-bearing lattice girder also serves as a railing, while the third historic lattice girder bridge is a deck girder. This is one of the through lattice girder bridges. Lattice girder bridges of any kind are a bridge type that is almost unheard of in the United States, and are far more common in Europe. These bridges in Savannah are therefore significant as a rare example of this European style bridge in the United States.

Sadly, very little is known about these three bridges, including who built them and when they date to.

The look of this bridge, especially with the curved outriggers it displays, is very reminiscent of  lattice girder bridges found in the United Kingdom, where they were erected at train stations as pedestrian grade separations, allowing people to walk over the railway. An example can be seen here.

At the north end, the bridge leads to a walkway, which near the bridge is supported by a beautiful cast iron column. The beam resting on the column has a Jones and Laughlin brand (not "Laughlins") indicating the beam dates to after the 1905 Laughlin name change. The beam, one would assume, is likely newer than both bridge and column.

What makes this bridge a "lattice girder" and not a lattice truss with Quadruple Intersection Warren configuration? This could be open for debate, but in general bridges classified as lattice girder bridges instead of trusses have a very simple design and the actual size of the girder/truss is not large. Thus, these bridges in Savannah with a lattice composed of simple bars, and a depth of girder no higher than a standard pedestrian railing, clearly fall in the lattice girder category, especially when looking at how similar bridges in Europe are described.


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