The Old Railroad Bridge Company’s (ORBC) Board of Directors recently announced the beginning of the long awaited lighting of the historic 1,600 foot bridge structure. The Old Railroad Bridge was originally constructed in 1840 for wagon traffic and was modified in 1858 to handle rail traffic. The ORBC obtained the structure from Norfolk-Southern Railroad in 1993 and as the primary care-takers has worked diligently to maintain, restore and improve The Old Railroad Bridge
Today it is used primarily for walking, enjoying the view of the Tennessee River and the river traffic as well as its connection with the fourteen miles of walking trails on the adjoining TVA Reservation. With the addition of the lighting, people who want to visit the bridge later in the evening will be able to walk and enjoy the bridge until its closing at 10:00 PM.
The lighting will also enable the police to have full visibility of the entire length of The Old Railroad Bridge when on regular patrols. This will discourage activity at night such as painting of graffiti and other acts of vandalism. The lighting will be low keyed and will not distract from the enjoyment of walking on The Old Railroad Bridge.
Construction is expected to continue for the next four to six weeks but will not normally interfere with visitors, however, some sections may be closed from time to time for public safety. The ORBC would like to thank everyone who has donated time and money that has allowed the project to begin. Major contributors include: CBS Bank, First Metro Bank, N.W.ALRC&D Council, BVI, Southwire Corporation, TVA Surplus, Mayco Electric Supply and Garnet Electric Company.
During phase one, electrical lines and audio/video cables are being install to furnish power for phase two of the project which is to install security cameras and a sound system thus aiding in the safety, security and enjoyment of The Old Railroad Bridge guests
Phase two will add security cameras and additional lighting. Anyone wishing to contribute to this can mail donations to ORBC, P.O. Box 727, Florence, AL 35630 or through PayPal on our website where additional information and the bridge history can be found as well. If you have any questions or concerns, please use the “Contact Us” form on the website. Our website can be found at www.oldrailroadbridge.org.
ORBC is a 501-3C organization meaning that your donation is tax deductible.