The Saline River starts out in the Ouachita Mountains west of Benton, Arkansas with four forks. The four forks converge near Riverside in Saline County, Arkansas. The river leaves Saline County and winds on a serpentine path through Grant, Dallas, Cleveland, Bradley, Drew, and Ashley Counties. It empties into the Ouachita River near Felsanthal in Ashely County.
Before we go too much further, this “old bridge” story actually started in Mooringsport, Louisiana with a story about and pictures of an old draw bridge on the Photo of the Week Page at Corndancer dot com. Click here to see the old Mooringsport bridge and get the story.
I first came across the Tull Bridge the mid-seventies. It was a ferrous oxide poster child and rattled like a box full of bones then, but there was a certain charm to traversing a bridge with a wooden floor. That certain charm for the most part, ameliorated the fear and trepidation brought about by the attendant sound effects.
Even the approaches to the Tull Bridge were planked with wood. The approaches did not rattle like the planks on the bridge. On most trips across the bridge, if other traffic was not present, I would stop on the bridge and get out of my vehicle just to look at the construction. Don’t tell my mother I did this.
If you seriously travel central and southeast Arkansas, crossing the Saline River is inevitable. On this trip, I lost count of the number of times I crossed it. Like most rivers, as it progresses downstream, it becomes a bit but not overly turbid. Under normal circumstances, the waters of the forks, originating in Ouachita Mountains, are gin-clear.
Meanwhile, a county or so away,
still yet another abandoned bridge beckoned
This bridge in northern Garland County, Arkansas was built by a county road department in 1931. It has been replaced by a newer bridge which I was standing under to get the shot above. The bridge is a favorite for photographers, but not at this angle. It took some delicate steps over some serious rip-rap at the base of the bridge to set up for the shot.
County road departments these days, it appears, eschew the obvious aesthetic considerations their predecessors put into this one. It is graceful with a shape reminiscent of a gull in flight. Not an easy appearance to achieve with concrete. They did well and someone was thinking in the right direction to leave the bridge standing. Whomsoever you are, thanks.
It’s nice to see a couple of old bridges which did not suffer destruction. We’ll look for more.
Thanks for dropping by,
Filed under: Behind the Scenes, but wait, there's more | Tagged: Arkansas, Bridge, Felsanthal, Mooringsport Louisiana, old draw bridge, Ouachita Mountains, Ouachita River, Saline County Arkansas, Saline River, Saline River Arkansas, Structural Engineering, Technology, Tull Bridge |