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Knoxville Norfolk Southern Railroad Bridge

Knoxville Norfolk Southern Railroad Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: November 28, 2017

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Railroad (Norfolk Southern) Over Tennessee River
Knoxville: Knox County, Tennessee: United States
Structure Type
Metal 6 Panel Multiple-Type-Connected Warren Through Truss, Fixed and Approach Spans: Metal 6 Panel Pin-Connected Warren Deck Truss, Fixed
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1903 By Builder/Contractor: Unknown

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Not Available or Not Applicable
Main Span Length
160 Feet (48.8 Meters)
Structure Length
1,295 Feet (394.7 Meters)
Roadway Width
Not Available
1 Main Span(s)
NBI Number
Not Applicable

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)
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Bridge Documentation

This bridge may have a history that offers an interesting story but is not currently known. This bridge is noted for its rare use of pin-connected for a Warren truss bridge, since most pin-connected truss bridges are Pratt trusses or Pratt-based truss designs. Some of the spans show a combination of pinned and riveted connections. The bridge also has some Pratt truss spans, meaning this bridge has an unusual variety of span types. From north to south the bridge is configured as follows. The bridge appears to use the original stone piers of the previous covered wooden railroad bridge, with some alterations. First, a series of short timber-supported beam spans lead to a large stone pier that might have been an abutment for the previous covered railroad bridge at this location. Next, a pin-connected Warren deck truss, followed by a pin-connected Pratt deck truss. This is followed by the main through truss span, which features a Warren truss configuration with both pinned and riveted connections. The through truss bridge sits on piers that have stone reaching to the height of the other stone piers, with an additional concrete section added on top which enabled this span to become a through truss instead of a deck truss, likely to increase navigation clearance for boats. The main span is followed by two pin-connected Warren deck truss spans. Next is a pin-connected Pratt deck truss span, but note that the design of this span is markedly different from the Pratt deck truss span at the northern end of the bridge. The southern Pratt deck truss span is supported by a concrete pier at the southern end, marking a change from stone piers likely from the previous bridge to concrete substructures that appear to date to the construction of the current bridge. The Pratt deck truss span is followed by a short Warren deck truss span which is also the only span which has all riveted connections. This span is the end of the bridge, resting on a concrete abutment.



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