104-year-old Chatham County Bridge Closed Indefinitely

The Chatham Church Road Bridge over the Rocky River is indefinitely closed. (Photo: Tracy Snead)

Older truss bridges in the Tar Heel State are a rarity, and we may be losing another one.  The Chatham Church Road bridge over the Rocky River - a 104-year-old Pratt Truss bridge with pinned connections - was indefinitely closed recently due to the deterioration of steel components.  The bridge's closure was decided after a routine inspection.

The Atlantic Bridge Company out of Charlotte built the historic one-lane bridge and opened to traffic in July 1921.  Over the past 50 years, residents have stopped several attempts by the NC Department of Transportation to replace the bridge.  However, efforts to place the bridge on the National Register of Historic Places have not come to fruition.

The bridge site is a popular tubing and kayaking launch point along the Rocky River. In 2005, the bridge was added to NCDOT's Historic Bridge Inventory.  Currently, plans to repair or replace the bridge are unknown.

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