Roadscapes Wednesday: Preserving the B.B. Comer Bridge


Roadscapes Geek Alabama

The B.B. Comer Bridge in Scottsboro was built way back in 1930 by the Kansas City Bridge Co. but contracted through the Alabama State Bridge Corp.  The bridge is the last of the 15 memorial toll bridges enacted by legislation in 1927.  For a while, this was a 2-lane bridge until AL-35 was 4-laned and a new modern bridge was built for the northbound traffic.  In 2007, the aging structure was classified by the Alabama Department of Transportation as being a structurally deficient bridge with an overall rating of 7.7 out of 100.  Construction of a replacement bridge commenced in October 2007, and is expected to be completed in late 2015.  When the new southbound modern bridge is complete, The B.B. Comer Bridge is scheduled to be demolished in 2015.  But this bridge might not end up in the junkyard.

In April 2013, the bridge was named one of the top ten “Top Rated Unique Savable Structures” by BridgeHunter.com.  And a group of people from Jackson County is starting efforts to preserve the B.B. Comer Bridge before it’s taken down.  The catch, if funds aren’t raised, the bridge is set for demolition in 2015 and ALDOT will take the bridge down forever.  The Comer Bridge Foundation’s mission is to preserve the B. B. Comer Bridge as a lasting monument; to create a memorial to those who worked to build a landmark across the Tennessee River; to create a venue to experience the river landscape which will provide revenue for both Scottsboro and Jackson County by increasing tourist dollars; and to preserve local history.

The group wants to convert the B.B. Comer Bridge for pedestrian and biking use once the southbound AL-35 bridge opens.  And there has been a good development in preserving this bridge.  The HRI Bridge Company will look at the bridge in December and if they sign off with the preservation plans, funds that would have been used to demolish the bridge could be used in saving it.  Alabama is home to a lot of history across the entire state, Alabama would be home to the remaining unique bridge found anywhere in the world once construction of the new bridge is complete.  A bike path or sidewalk could be built to connect the bridge with Scottsboro, I think that is a fantastic idea!  Here is a video featuring classic photos of this bridge!

The historic bridge is also eligible for inclusion in the Alabama Historical Commission.  Let’s hope the Comer Bridge Foundation can save this bridge!  You can help this group raise funds to save the bridge by going to: http://comerbridge.org/donate-to-cbf.html.

Learn more about the Comer Bridge Foundation at: http://comerbridge.org.  Follow them on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/comerbridgefoundation.

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