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Castle Hayne Road Bridge

Smith's Creek Bridge

Castle Hayne Road Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Elaine Deutsch

Bridge Documented: July 2015

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Castle Hayne Road (NC-2812, Old NC-133) Over Smith Creek
Wilmington: New Hanover County, North Carolina: United States
Structure Type
Metal 8 Panel Rivet-Connected Polygonal Warren Through Truss, Movable: Swing (Center Bearing Center Pier) and Approach Spans: Concrete T-Beam, Fixed
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1930 By Builder/Contractor: T.A. Loving and Company of Goldsboro, North Carolina and Engineer/Design: North Carolina State Highway Commission

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Main Span Length
172 Feet (52.4 Meters)
Structure Length
248 Feet (75.6 Meters)
Roadway Width
27.2 Feet (8.29 Meters)
1 Main Span(s) and 2 Approach Span(s)
NBI Number

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)
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Bridge Documentation

Although it no longer operates for boats (as reported in 2008), this bridge remains a good example of a state-designed swing through truss bridge. The plaque on the bridge names the waterway Smith's Creek, but maps today show it as Smith Creek.

View Archived National Bridge Inventory Report - Has Additional Details and Evaluation

Information and Findings From North Carolina's Historic Bridge Inventory

Discussion of Bridge

The State Highway Commission designed this through truss, center-bearing, swing-span bridge in 1930 and contractor T.A. Loving & Company of Goldsboro completed its construction in December of the following year. Although largely supplanted by a modern highway to the east, it continues to carry Castle Hayne Road (Old NC 133) over Smith Creek into northern Wilmington and remains one of the earliest and most complete examples of its type in the state. Its operator house and controls have been replaced, but it retains its original gearing and mechanical systems, and essentially operates as it did when originally built. On notice of 24 hours, its swing span is put into motion.

A swing-span bridge rotates in a horizontal plane around a vertical axis into a position parallel with the marine channel and shore. This allows vessels to pass along a waterway that would otherwise be obstructed by the bridge. This bridge utilizes the most common of the two movable-span technologies: it is center-bearing and therefore rotates around a central pivot pier set in the waterway. This swing-span design is lighter and more easily operable than the rim-bearing alternative.

Swing-span bridges can be built with different types of substructures. The central swinging span of this structure is a 173-foot-long, eight-panel, riveted Warren through truss. With its two northern tee beam approach spans, the bridge's total length is 248 feet. The truss has built-up chords of channels with cover plates or lacing. The verticals and some of the diagonals are rolled sections, which is an original detail. Due to impact damage from over-height trucks on several occasions, the bridge's portal bracing and some of the upper laterals have been replaced in kind. The state also replaced its deck and stringers in 1962 and strengthened its floorbeams with welded beams in 1982. The essentials of its type, however, remain intact.

Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: Yes


Photo Galleries and Videos: Castle Hayne Road Bridge

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