Thursday, June 21, 2007

The Railroad Bridge at High Bridge Kentucky Part 2

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My last blog covered the early history (1850s-early 1900s) of the railroad "High Bridge" at High Bridge Kentucky and included the designers, construction and impact of the bridge on the area. Since it was completed in 1877, the needs of the railroad increased in the amount of traffic and the loads that were being transported and changes became a necessity and the choice was to either rebuild the bridge or replace it. Gustav Lindenthal designed the changes to the bridge to insure it's continued use with the novel approach of using the existing footings of the bridge and rebuilding the new bridge around and on top of the existing bridge which allowed traffic to continue on the old bridge during the construction which began in 1910 and was completed in 1911. The finished product put the new bridge and tracks 30 feet above the original bridge and tracks. This required an approach ramp on both sides to reach the new heights. The postcard below is a 1913 view of the newly completed renovations with a train on the top track. The easy to way to tell the difference in the early and late versions of the bridge is the parallel girders on the new version while the old version had girders that came to a point where they met the bridge.
Railroad traffic continued to increase in this main North & South route and by 1929 a second track was needed. This was accomplished by doubling the tracks on the top but the extra width for the second track required the destruction of the limestone towers which were built before the Civil War. The bridge remains in use today, High Bridge Park has been rebuilt after years of neglect and the railroad depot was removed in the 1910-1911 construction. The High Bridge Post Office closed in 1976 but there is still a small village there on Kentucky State Route 29. This postcard is available in my Kentucky listings and thousands more United States views are available on my website at Moody's Postcards.

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