Last Parker Truss Bridge in Alabama to be Preserved

Wed August 02, 2006 - Southeast Edition

FLORENCE, AL (AP) State officials have determined that the one-lane steel Parker truss bridge crossing Shoal Creek between Florence and Killen is worth saving for historical purposes.

The bridge’s preservation is a result of an agreement by the Alabama Department of Transportation, the Alabama Historical Commission and the Federal Highway Administration.

Don Arkle, DOT’s assistant chief engineer for policy and planning, said it is the last Parker truss bridge in Alabama. A Parker truss bridge is suspended from steel girders instead of supported by concrete pilings.

When it was opened in 1924, it was actually a two-lane bridge. It stayed that way until a sister bridge opened in 1959. No traffic is allowed on it now and DOT officials said there is no intention of allowing pedestrian traffic on it.

Arkle told the Times Daily that the age of the bridge, its type, length and location on a major traffic artery played a role in historically preserving it.