Located in downtown Shelbyville, Kentucky, this abandoned bridge is hidden amidst trees and terrain. Hiding with it is a strange secret, that it is unlike any other bridge in the state of Kentucky. How so? Its a relic of World War Two, a portable Bailey Bridge, designed to be installed by combat engineers in the middle of a battle. How it got here is unclear, but it doesn't seem to be going anywhere anytime soon.
|Sherman Tanks crossing a canal in 1945 on a Bailey. Note the damaged bridge in the background.|
|Diagram from Bailey Bridge manual.|
|Strange signage leading to the now-closed bridge.|
|Concrete barriers prevent cars from getting near the bridge.|
|Another humorous sign. A well placed Bailey can hold an army tank that weighs over 30 tons.|
|Path down to the bridge.|
And, out of nowhere, the bridge appears. One end is blocked with a chainlink fence, the other with concrete blocks. It has been shut down for several years, and no plans to reopen it are known.
|A view of the bridge and its wooden deck.|
|This bridge has two panels on each side. Bridges could be built with a single panel, or as many as were required to support the weigh of the bridge and its traffic.|
|Another view, showing the two panels, connected with horizontal panels. The entire bridge is bolted together. There are no welds or rivets anywhere, and the bridge could be taken down and used somewhere else.|
|A close up shot of the bridge deck. It is made of steel beams going across the width of the bridge, with wooden boards traveling the length. All of these parts are easily replaced.|
|Thos Storey bridge panel.|
|BBI marked panel.|
|End cap of the Bailey. Note the giant pin and cotter key holding it together.|
|Bridge abutment, viewed from above.|
|A final view from the other end of the bridge.|
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