BetterLife writes: I haven’t been around here very long, but as I walk across the Belmont bridge occassionally, I notice what appears to be the remnants of a bridge. Does anyone know the history of this? Whether is was a bridge or not, or how long ago it was torn down? I know, dumb question, but it has always interested me.
13 thoughts on “Bridge Abutment?”
I don’t know that particular bridge, but any bridge has to be rebuilt every so often. This is particularly apparant in Richmond, where centuries-old fragments and pilings crisscross and dot the James river around the falls.
Which bridge is the Belmont bridge? Do you mean the one at the end of the mall by Nexus-Lexus?
yes, it is. On the other side near the old warehouse and Lethal Wrecker is where the old abutment is.
If you are looking for a photos of old c-ville might I suggest:
For example this is a picture of the railroad bridge near the corner and hospital:
didn’t they completely re-build the belmont bridge about 6-7 years ago? my memory is a little fuzzy, and i cant remember what it used to look like. maybe its been rebuilt several times over the years?
by the way, that structure you’re talking about is the best place in town to see graffiti.
Charlottesville has a long and interesting bridge history. Not too long ago (in the grand scheme of things :), all of our bridges were toll bridges. This was because road maintainence was seen as a private endeavour, outside of government control, and certainly too expensive. The problem with this is that some roads and bridges just can’t make money on tolls. The best example is the bridge at Pantops, on 250. That would get washed out every handful of years, before the owner could recoup their construction expenses, and so large amounts of time would go by when there would be no convenient method of getting over the river.
Some decades ago (after the advent of the automobile, if memory serves), Charlottesville took over maintenance of the Free Bridge, hence the tite. It hasn’t washed out in a good long while, and I suspect that with modern bridge construction methods, it probably won’t for a long time. I’ve never checked, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there was still evidence of earlier bridges there, as there are around many bridges in Charlottesville. All are marks of earlier bridges, of course, but some of them harken back to the days of private bridge ownership.
I have looked through Holsinger’s collection on the web, and some local C’ville books, but see nothing that looks familiar.
I’m assuming Belmont Bridge dates back to the closing of Main Street to auto traffic when the downtown mall was built. My question is: what was the traffic pattern before that time? Was it basically just the way it is now, only with cars instead of cafes on Main Street, or were roads seriously rerouted then? Just curious.
That’s a really interesting question. I have absolutely no idea of what Main Street did before the Downtown Mall was put in. I assume that it proceeded through what is now the amphitheatre and Lexis/Nexis, but I couldn’t imagine where it went from there.
until you mentioned that, i had COMPLETELY forgotten about the re-directioning of market street a few years ago (which, helpfully, happened around the same time i got my liscence.)
The vinegar hill shopping center was once a neighborhood, the entire area was redesigned into the EVIL EVIL EVIL TRAFFIC SNARL you see now.
Here is a link to a closeup of the vinegar hill area taken in 1966 (pre mall bricking).
I assume more photographs of other areas could be obtained.
I was searching the Holsinger collection on the internet and came across a picture that I think shows part of this bridge.
There used to be a ramp from Water Street up to the Belmont bridge. Is it possible that you are looking at that?
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