I first spotted this interesting bridge a few years back when Google Map exploring the railroads and industrial spurs around Savannah, Georgia.
Something about the control tower and massive counter-weight structure appealed to me and I have always thought it would make an excellent North American river crossing module and scratchbuilding project.
I’ve also wanted to do a post about it for ages…
The only problem was… there aren’t actually that many images of the bridge with a Creative Commons license that I can share in this post and since Bing Maps stopped providing it’s 3D satellite imagery, it’s actually become quite difficult to even get a good view of the bridge from all sides. Which means the YouTube video I’ve embedded at the beginning of the post is actually one of the best scratchbuilding resources available as you get some nice HD imagery of both sides of the bridge, the main support islands and even the underside of the bridge deck.
Other than that, there is some useful information and a few photos of the bridge on the Bridgehunter.com website, information includes the railroad companies that use or have used the bridge in the past*. There’s also the usual satellite images on Google Maps for calculating dimensions.
* The bridge is currently used by CSX but I think it’s design is generic enough that you could place it anywhere in the US.
You can also get a fairly good overall view of the north side of the bridge from the nearby I-95 Jasper Highway bridge using Google Streetview:
Unfortunately, that’s about it but I think it’s enough to make a reasonably accurate model.
I had originally planned to build a model of this bridge when I lived in the US and had grand plans for a room size layout. However it could also be built with a modular approach and in the image below you can see how you could create an accurate model of the bridge, the full width of the river and a slither of bank on either side with two 1050mm long modules. These are the boxes marked in red.
The 1050mm modules even meet alongside a pier, which would make it slightly easier to disguise the joint effectively.
You could also do something interesting with T-Trak modules by modelling the main part of the bridge on a T-Trak double module (green box) and if space allowed, two single T-Trak modules (blue boxes) either side to model some of the piers. By selectively compressing the part of the bridge on piers you could even model some of the bank either side of the river.
That’s about it for this bridge, however finding it did pique my interest in the area and sure enough, further up the Savannah River there’s more modelable river crossings, a number of rail-served industries and even some street-running around the Augusta, Georgia area. So I’ll do a post on Augusta too once I’ve gathered together some material.