Friday, June 14, 2013

Abandoned Sulphur-Bedford Road Bridge - Trimble County, Kentucky

The old Sulphur-Bedford Road bridge was built in 1901 next to a mill dam and was used until its closure in 1999.  A new concrete bridge has been built since the closure, but the iron truss bridge still sits there on the Little Kentucky River next to the old dam.  The bridge's narrow wooden deck, which was later covered in asphalt, is now deteriorating without maintenance.  Even though 14 years is a relatively short period of abandonment in comparison to some other locations we've visited, the use of this bridge well beyond its intended lifespan gives it the appearance that its abandonment has been much longer.

The old approach to the bridge is rough, but still drivable.  One of the first things you notice when pulling up to the bridge is that it has been tagged all over with graffiti.  The area seems to be a popular fishing spot as well.
Walking up to the bridge you can tell the wooden deck of the bridge is in awful shape.  As you can see in this photo there are sections of the bridge where the deck is missing and the support beams below are completely exposed.
This old mill dam sits right off to the side of the bridge.  While we're not sure how old the dam is, it is probably safe to say that it predates the opening of the bridge in 1901.
Sitting in the shallow waters of the Little Kentucky River you can really appreciate the size of the bridge.  Locals we found spoke of using the bridge as a diving board in times past.  Given the shallow water, this seems like a very poor idea.
This explorer bravely (read: foolishly) volunteered himself to cross the bridge.  Standing on the unsupported sections of the deck it feels as if the wood could give way at any moment.  The thin layer of asphalt hides much of the rot from being seen, giving a false sense of security in some places. The only safe way to cross was to make sure you were walking on the supportive beams that are underneath the deck.


  1. the water is actually pretty deep off the side where the dam is but you have to be in the right spot. if you find it the water is about 6 foot deep i jump off all the time

    1. I thought the old bridge was much prettier than the new bridge. You could see the water falling over the dam. Now all you see is concrete. Wish they would have preserved the old bridge. There have been a couple of deaths in that area also, which i think is a shame. Love old bridges.