Sheffield in Colbert County, Alabama — The American South (East South Central)
Old Railroad Bridge
In 1832, the Alabama legislature authorized the Florence Bridge Company to construct this bridge across the Tennessee River. In 1840, it opened as a toll bridge. Twice damaged by storms, it was reopened in 1858 as a double-decked bridge by the Memphis and Charleston Railroad. Additional piers were added to support the large wooden superstructure with trains using the upper deck while the lower deck served as a toll bridge. In April 1862, the Confederate army burned the bridge. Later in the Civil War, the piers were used to assist in ferry crossing and to anchor a pontoon bridge built by Gen. John B. Hood's Confederate Army of Tennessee in November 1864. After the war, both decks of the bridge were rebuilt and returned to service in 1870.
(Continued on other side)
(Continued from other side)
In 1892, an engine and five cars crashed through both decks into the river. The superstructure was replaced with steel spans which are still visible. A turn span crossed the navigation channel until 1962 when a lift span was installed and used until 1992. Trains used the upper deck until 1988, as did streetcars from 1904 to 1933. The lower deck served as a toll bridge until O'Neal Bridge opened in 1939. In 1993, the Norfolk-Southern Railroad Company donated the bridge to the Old Railroad
Erected 2010 by The Old Railroad Bridge Company, Colbert County Historical Landmark Foundation, Alabama Historical Association.
Location. 34° 46.818′ N, 87° 40.06′ W. Marker is in Sheffield, Alabama, in Colbert County. Marker can be reached from Ashe Boulevard 0.4 miles north of NE 16th Street. Touch for map. This marker is within walking distance of Old Railroad Bed Historic Marker. Marker is in this post office area: Sheffield AL 35660, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Old Railroad Bed (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); First Muscle Shoals Canal/Second Muscle Shoals Canal (approx. half a mile away); McFarland Park and Recreation Area (approx. 0.6 miles away); Prehistoric Native Americans / Historic Native Americans (approx. 0.6 miles away); Forest Elders (approx. 0.7 miles away); Prehistoric Mound (approx. ¾ mile away); Florence Little League Baseball (1951) (approx. 0.9 miles away); Church Spring and School (approx. 1.1 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Sheffield.
Categories. • Bridges & Viaducts • Man-Made Features • Roads & Vehicles • War, US Civil •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on February 28, 2011, by Sandra Hughes of Killen, Usa. This page has been viewed 1,839 times since then and 195 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. submitted on February 28, 2011, by Sandra Hughes of Killen, Usa. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.