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Settles Bridge

Settles Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: November 12, 2014

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Settles Bridge Road (Abandoned) Over Chattahoochee River
Suwanee: Forsyth County, Georgia and Gwinnett County, Georgia: United States
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
By Builder/Contractor: Unknown

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Not Available or Not Applicable
Main Span Length
175 Feet (53.3 Meters)
Structure Length
Not Available
Roadway Width
Not Available
1 Main Span(s)
NBI Number
Not Applicable

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)
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Bridge Documentation

The span length given for this bridge is a rough estimate. Whatever the exact span length is, one thing is clear: this is a very long-span example of a pin-connected Pratt through truss. Typically spans of this length would be something more complicated that a regular Pratt, such as a Whipple or Parker truss. This bridge crosses at a fairly high height over the water, and at the eastern end of the bridge a series of steel stringer approach spans brought the bridge roadway back to ground level.

This bridge was reportedly abandoned in the 1950s. Nothing has been done with the bridge since then. The deck is long-gone, although deck stringers remain for the approach spans. Some of the approach spans are in imminent danger of collapse, and indeed have already partially collapsed with visible sagging. The reason for this is obvious. The steel bent closest to the main span that supports the approach spans has had the concrete foundations they rest on washed away. One of the columns was during the site visible observed to be completely washed out and essentially hanging off the bridge, and others were partially washed out with the foundation tipping over.

For a bridge with obvious historic significance due to its pin-connected design and span length, the neglect is unacceptable. The bridge is actually located in a National Recreation Area, which is managed by the National Park Service. The National Park Service needs to step up and restore this bridge for pedestrian use which would make it an attraction for the area.


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