Bypassed and preserved for pedestrian use, this is the only surviving Phoenix column bridge in North Carolina, and the oldest highway truss bridge in the state. With the exception of one of the vertical members which was replaced with pipe, the truss retains excellent historic integrity with no other major alterations. The physical condition of the truss is good.
Information and Findings From North Carolina's Historic Bridge Inventory
Discussion of Bridge
Built in 1891, this bridge is North Carolina's
oldest identified metal truss highway bridge and, indeed, the oldest
dated bridge included in the inventory of the state's highway spans. It
is also North Carolina's only bridge erected with patented Phoenix
columns. The Phoenix Bridge Company fabricated the numerous parts of the
bridge in its shops in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania. Phoenix was a leader
in the development of metal truss bridge technology after the Civil War.
The patented Phoenix column-a hollow circular tube formed of curved
wrought-iron channels-was a breakthrough that promoted the substitution
of built-up wrought-iron members for cast-iron in the compression
members of truss bridges. It was a transitional design, but it had a
significant impact and was a favorite of railroad bridge builders from
the late 1860s through the 1880s.
Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: Yes
This bridge is tagged with the following special condition(s): Phoenix Columns
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