This bridge has an extremely unusual history. Built in 1904, the bridge had a relatively short life. It apparently was in need of repair by the 1930s and by 1940 had been closed to traffic for an unknown period of time.
Many sources claim that it was at this time (ca. 1940), that some random person decided that they could masquerade as a contractor and they arrived on site and demolished one of the spans for the scrap metal. Their deception apparently fooled the area residents, and by the time the authorities caught onto the scheme one of the main truss spans had already been demolished. However the validity of this story is questionable, since historic aerial imagery in 1955 clearly shows both spans standing. However, a subsequent image from 1960 shows that the removal has occurred. As a result, its not known if the whole story is just legend, and the portion of the bridge was removed for other reasons, or the story is accurate, but just with the wrong date being passed around.
Today the the other main span that survived the bridge thieves remains standing today. It appears there were once also approach spans leading up to the main spans of the bridge. It is not known if they were removed at the same time as the through truss span or at some other date.
In either case, the bridge has sat abandoned for over 70 years, far longer than most abandoned bridges encountered. Although a close examination of the bridge is not possible, it appears that as would be expected, the bridge has excellent historic integrity, having not been subjected to deteriorating salt, insensitive repairs, wear and tear, modern railing additions, and other factors that bridges which remained in service through the 20th century might display.
Despite any historic and structural integrity that the bridge might possess, the bridge appears to be at severe risk of collapse. The central caisson pier of the bridge appears to be rotating (tipping over). Substructure failures are especially tragic because there might be nothing wrong with the superstructure at all, but if a substructure fails, it will destroy the superstructure in the process.
This bridge has given rise to the names of two parks, the Jones Bridge section of the Chattahooche National Recreation Area occupying the land north and northwest of the bridge, as well as the Jones Bridge County Park occupying the land south of the bridge. In order to prevent the structure after which these parks are named from being destroyed and lost forever, HistoricBridges.org strongly recommends that the truss be removed from the piers, and preserved in a new location. It could be set on the ground as a non-functional exhibit, or it could cross a feature of some sort, carrying non-motorized traffic. There is surely some place in these parks which would benefit from a historically significant truss bridge. Given the rarity of truss bridges, particularly those with pinned connections in Georgia, the preservation of this at-risk bridge should be given high priority and undertaken as soon as possible.
Original / Full Size Photos
|A collection of overview and detail photos. This gallery offers photos in the highest available resolution and file size in a touch-friendly popup viewer. Alternatively, Browse Without Using Viewer|
Mobile Optimized Photos
|A collection of overview and detail photos. This gallery features data-friendly, fast-loading photos in a touch-friendly popup viewer. Alternatively, Browse Without Using Viewer|
© Copyright 2003-2019, HistoricBridges.org. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer: HistoricBridges.org is a volunteer group of private citizens. HistoricBridges.org is NOT a government agency, does not represent or work with any governmental agencies, nor is it in any way associated with any government agency or any non-profit organization. While we strive for accuracy in our factual content, HistoricBridges.org offers no guarantee of accuracy. Information is provided "as is" without warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied. Information could include technical inaccuracies or errors of omission. Opinions and commentary are the opinions of the respective HistoricBridges.org member who made them and do not necessarily represent the views of anyone else, including any outside photographers whose images may appear on the page in which the commentary appears. HistoricBridges.org does not bear any responsibility for any consequences resulting from the use of this or any other HistoricBridges.org information. Owners and users of bridges have the responsibility of correctly following all applicable laws, rules, and regulations, regardless of any HistoricBridges.org information.