The Transylvania Times -

By Marcy Thompson
Picturing The Past 

County's Historic Bridges Reside In Forest


Davidson River Bridge on Highway 64.

The North Carolina Department of Transportation website lists four historic bridges in Transylvania County. All four are located on a short stretch of Highway 276 in the Pisgah National Forest.

They were built in 1935 by the State Highway Commission along with the U.S. Forest Service in an effort to increase automobile tourism and recreation in Western North Carolina. Construction of the Blue Ridge Parkway was occurring at the same time. Improvement of Highway 276 from Brevard through the Pisgah National Forest would provide access to the Blue Ridge Parkway. These projects were part of President Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal program and helped create jobs during the Great Depression.

All four bridges cross Looking Glass Creek, the first near its confluence with the Davidson River. Forest Service Road 475 turns west to the Pisgah Center for Wildlife immediately North of this bridge.

The reinforced concrete, tee beam bridges were typical for the time period. Their uniqueness lays in the decorative details. "Round-headed openings pierce the concrete balustrades of each bridge and the five parallel lines of tee beams are finished with haunches that emulate the curves of arched bridges. Further, blocks of granite, reportedly laid by Italian stonemasons, face pylons, abutments, and wingwalls."

A similar bridge on Highway 64 crossing the Davidson River was built in 1934 by the North Carolina State Highway Commission and Public Works Commission. It also has the open arch details rather than solid concrete walls. However, it does not have the granite stonework of the bridges in the Pisgah National Forest. This bridge carries the traffic coming into Brevard. The bridge carrying traffic out of Brevard was constructed in 1956.

Bridge #54 at the mouth of Looking Glass Creek.

Information on these and other historic bridges in North Carolina can be found at jects/ncbridges/historic.

(Photographs and infor-mation for this column are provided by the Rowell Bosse North Carolina Room, Transylvania County Lirary. Visit the N.C. Room during regular library hours Monday-Friday to learn more about our history and see additional photographs. For more information, comments or suggestions, contact Marcy at marcy.thomp or (828) 884-3151 ext. 242.)


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