Girder Bridge Question

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at
Wed Jul 24 19:17:37 EDT 2013

Heading south out of Roanoke, the bridge over Rt 419 was aluminum colored in
the 70's and I don't recall any markings. I recall a multi-span girder
bridge farther south that crossed a creek and country road (I have no clue
exactly where it was but I think south of Starkey). My photos don't show any
marking on it, but they are somewhat dark.

Don Trettel

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Sent: Wednesday, July 24, 2013 10:20 AM
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Subject: Re: Girder Bridge Question

I checked with a former staff member of the N&W/NS bridge department, and as
I understand the practice, black was the standard color for all N&W/NS
bridges, but some highway departments specified aluminum for bridges over
highways where the highway department was paying for the bridge, e.g., where
the bridge was required by a highway widening project, etc.

As pointed out by someone else, "Norfolk and Western" was stenciled in black
paint on the aluminum-painted bridge carrying the Winston-Salem line over
Franklin Road in Roanoke.

Probably the deciding factor -- he who pays for the bridge get to pick the

En route from eastern Virginia yesterday, I made an audit of some of the
bridges. The one I should have made a detour to see is Bridge 14A west of
Suffolk which carries NS over U.S. 58. It's probably just as it was in the

Bridge #51-B at Rice on the Old Main Line (now abandoned). This is a three
span aluminum colored bridge installed when U.S. 460 was expanded to four
lanes in the 70s. This is a ballasted deck bridge (meaning conventional
can be used). No markings, but hanger for railroad symbol still evident.

Bridge #88 over Reedy Creek Road west of Spout Springs -- steel stringers
supported by concrete abutments. Two-lane county road.

Bridge at Dewey west of Montvale. Originally U.S. 460 passed beneath the
N&W in two reinforced concrete "boxes". When overhead clearance became
a problem, it was rebuilt as one span over the four lanes. Bridge is
aluminum in
color, but has no company name.

In addition to the bridge over Franklin Road, the center pier carrying
N&W's former Shenandoah Div. over Orange Avenue has the Pevler era
symbol cast in concrete. Harry Bundy

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