Sunday, July 24, 2016

Old Hardin Road Bridge - Gaston County

Not more than one mile down stream from the old US 321 High Shoals bridge, another old truss bridge over the South Fork River can be found.  However, unlike the High Shoals bridge, the old Hardin Road bridge is in a less desirable condition.  The old truss bridge, which included an elevated approach similar to the US 64 Tar River Bridge, was decommissioned in 1966 when a new bridge carrying Hardin Road was built slightly upstream.
 
The old bridge has seen some of the approach spans collapse after years of neglect.  Because of the collapsed spans on the west side of the bridge and a private business on the east shore, it is now impossible to reach the main span over the river.  The remnants of this bridge shows how early truss bridges in North Carolina were constructed, but it also shows the delicate nature of these bridges and how years of neglect can significantly deteriorate these bridges.

Photos taken by post author with Steven Duckworth - August 2007.

Editors Note: Conditions around the bridge can be very suspect.  It is strongly recommended that a group of two or more should go around to access the area around the bridge.


The elevated approach to the Old Hardin Road Bridge begins.

A dirt path goes underneath one of the elevated sections of Old Hardin Road.

The main truss span of the Old Hardin Road Bridge is left standing while an approach span of the bridge has collapsed into the South Fork River.

A closer look at the collapsed bridge span.

Over forty years of vegetation surrounds another collapsed span of the bridge.

A look at how the elevated approach spans to the bridge were built.  Obviously, it doesn't look entirely too safe.

Twisted remains of the old bridge.

A still standing bridge span...but not in the greatest of conditions

(1) Nationalbridges.com. http://nationalbridges.com/nbi_record.php?StateCode=37&struct=000000000710160 (January 5, 2008) 

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