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A Record-Setting RR Bridge: My Builder was My Killer

 Green River Bridge
Green River Bridge

The bridge was the well known Green River Bridge built by Albert Fink for the Louisville and Nashville Railroad near Mammoth, Kentucky in 1859. At the time it was built is was considered to be the longest iron railroad bridge in the country. It consisted of five spans with the three middle spans being 208 ft. long and the end spans 181 ft. Its deck was 115 ft. above the level of the river. All of the cast and wrought iron trusses were built in accordance with his patent of May 9, 1854, #10,887.

The image shown is after two spans were destroyed by Confederate troops in October 1861 on the orders of General Albert Sidney Johnston who was retreating from Bowling Green, KY to prevent the Union troops from crossing the river at that site. The man who had built the masonry was given the order to destroy the bridge which he did by placing charges on the first pier which when detonated caused the adjacent spans to fall. The destruction came only two years after the bridge was built.

Fink would become President of ASCE in 1880.