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Martha Gallatin Bridge

Veterans Memorial Bridge

Martha Gallatin Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Dave Michaels

Bridge Documented: April 8, 2014

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
TN-109 Over Cumberland River
Location
Gallatin: Wilson County, Tennessee and Sumner County, Tennessee: United States
Structure Type
Metal Continuous 12 Panel Rivet-Connected Polygonal Warren Through Truss, Fixed and Approach Spans: Concrete T-Beam, Fixed
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1954 By Builder/Contractor: Unknown

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Not Available or Not Applicable
Main Span Length
317 Feet (96.6 Meters)
Structure Length
1,373 Feet (418.5 Meters)
Roadway Width
26 Feet (7.92 Meters)
Spans
3 Main Span(s) and 16 Approach Span(s)
NBI Number
95SR1090009

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)
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Bridge Documentation

This bridge no longer exists!

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

This historic bridge was demolished by TDOT April 25, 2014!

This bridge was one of a few bridges following the same general design which is only found in Tennessee. This is one of two such bridges in the state sentenced to demolition, with only one being rehabilitated recently. The design is similar in terms of engineering to bridges like the General Sullivan Bridge described as arched continuous trusses, except that less emphasis was placed on producing an arch-like shape, giving the Tennessee bridges a more clunky appearance. The structural layout of the bridge's three main spans is a continuous truss that transitions from a deck truss at the end spans to a through truss in the middle span.

This bridge was demolished, something that was basically a waste of history and money since the new bridge was built next to the historic bridge and the historic bridge could have been left standing for pedestrian use and/or for its historic value. The replacement bridge is hideously ugly. It is a typical modern beam bridge of ugliness that somebody thought might look nice if they put minor embellishments on the railing and sidewalks... a process that the DOT folks like to call "context sensitive design." As usual, it didn't work too well. The problem is that modern DOTs and engineers usually completely ignore two facts. One, being that historic bridges are usually more attractive, and if you want beauty you should preserve the historic bridge. Second, the greatest bridge engineers in US history (like Ralph Modjeski and David Steinman for example), who were able to design beautiful bridges, used as their guiding principal that embellishments should be avoided, and that the actual functioning bridge should be beautiful. Since pre-stressed concrete beam and steel stringer bridges are by design plain and ugly, most modern bridges pretty much fail at that.

Demolition video is here and here.

Special thanks to Dave Michaels for photographing this bridge, who made it to the bridge within a month of the bridge's actual demolition.

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Photo Galleries and Videos: Martha Gallatin Bridge

 
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Bridge Photo-Documentation
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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

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Maps and Links: Martha Gallatin Bridge

This historic bridge has been demolished. This map is shown for reference purposes only.

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