Municipal Bridges

Vine Street Bridge (Forsyth County Bridge 386) over Fifth Street, designed by Winston-Salem Department of Public Works in 1923 (Frank Jones, 1960) (Digital Forsyth, Forsyth County Public Library) Vine Street Bridge (Forsyth County Bridge 386) over Fifth Street, designed by Winston-Salem Department of Public Works in 1923 (Frank Jones, 1960) (Digital Forsyth, Forsyth County Public Library
Portion of plan of Broad Street Bridge (Forsyth County Bridge 275) drawn by Winston-Salem Department of Public Works, 1923 (Wachovia Historical Society and City-County Planning Board, Spanning the Past) Portion of plan of Broad Street Bridge (Forsyth County Bridge 275) drawn by Winston-Salem Department of Public Works, 1923 (Wachovia Historical Society and City-County Planning Board, Spanning the Past)

Although the vast majority of reinforced concrete bridges in North Carolina are standard designs of the State Highway Commission, the versatile bridge material also lent itself to the bridge-building requirements of cities and towns. From the 1910s to 1920s, several North Carolina municipalities built arch and tee beam bridges, often with custom architectural treatments to fit within parks or suburban developments. The most common treatments were in the Classical Revival style, which usually featured ornamental balustrades and pilasters, or in the rustic style, with stone facing and parapets to make structural reinforced concrete bridges appear as traditional stone arch bridges. Among the state's most noteworthy bridges in this category are four tee beam bridges carrying local streets over Big Cross Creek in downtown Fayetteville (Cumberland County Bridges 163, 164, 168, and 173). Built in the mid-1920s, the bridges are an unusual and well-proportioned design with haunched beams that provide the appearance of arches. Winston-Salem used a tee beam design from the late 1910s to mid-1920s, with a pilaster detail at each bearing and arched shear details at the abutment corners (Forsyth County Bridges 371, 375, 381, 386, and 387). Stone-faced, reinforced concrete bridges, arched bridges are found in the suburban developments of Biltmore Forest near Asheville (Buncombe County Bridges 766 and 767) and Emerywood in High Point (Guilford County Bridge 413), fitting within the curvilinear street plans and naturalistic landscaping of the communities.

[June 2013]