Gold And Grey
“High Bridge” is a railroad bridge linking the extremely steep palisades on either side of the Kentucky River between Jessamine County, Kentucky and Mercer County, Kentucky. Constructed in 1876, it is a three-span continuous under-deck truss used by Norfolk Southern Railway to carry trains between Lexington, Kentucky and Harrodsburg, Kentucky. “HIgh Bridge” is a National Civil Engineering Landmark. Construction was begun in the 1850s for the Lexington and Danville Railroad. Designed by John A. Roebling as a suspension bridge supported by stone towers. It was not completed. The towers for the suspension cables were built and portions remained until 1929.
The redesigned bridge was of cantilever design and opened in 1877 on the Cincinnati Southern Railway. It was 275 feet (84 m) tall and 1,125 feet (343 m) long: the tallest bridge above a navigable waterway in North America and the tallest railroad bridge in the world until the early 20th century. It was designed by Charles Shaler Smith and was the first cantilever bridge in the United States. In 1879 President Hayes and Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman attended the dedication. The current bridge, designed by Gustav Lindenthal, was built around the existing structure in 1911 and expanded to two tracks in 1929. In 2005 the state and county jointly opened a park near the bridge. It included a restored open air dance pavilion, first used in the 19th century. Later improvements include a new playground, picnic area, and viewing platform that overlooks the bridge from the edge of the palisades.
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