|Neals Landing Suspension Bridge|
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Photographs, collection of David Denenberg.
For several years this set of photos was listed among my "unidentified suspension bridges" and resulted in the most speculation of any of those bridges. The most common theory was the photos depicted the Des Arc, Arkansas bridge. When I purchased these images, they were advertised as depicting a bridge in Alabama. In one of the photographs, the nameplate is legible and reads "1927 - Built By Austin Bros. Bridge Co. - Atlanta, GA." I own a book detailing the history of the Austin Bridge Co. and Austin Brothers Bridge Co., but this bridge does not match any bridge pictured in the book. The pictured bridge does closely resemble the Des Arc bridge (built by Austin Bridge Co. in 1928) but upon close inspection there are distinct differences, especially in the size of the towers. These photos do not show the Des Arc bridge.
In 1927, Austin Bridge Co. built a highway bridge across the Chattahoochee River between Neals Landing, Georgia (near Donalsonville) and Jackson County, Florida. The current Chattahoochee River highway crossing in this area is one mile south of the Georgia-Alabama border. This Neals Landing bridge was condemned in 1953 because of a sinking foundation. I believe these photos show the Neals Landing bridge after it was condemned. This theory is supported by several images published by the Digital Library of Georgia.
Image SEM-12 is titled "Photograph of suspension bridge across the Chattahoochee River at Georgia Highway 91, Seminole County, Georgia, ca. 1927" with description: "Seminole County, ca. 1927. Swinging bridge across the Chattahoochee River at Georgia Highway 91. The bridge was constructed by Austin Brothers Bridge Company from Dallas, Texas."
Image SEM-38-82 is titled "Photograph of a suspension bridge over the Chattahoochee, Seminole County, Georgia, 1942 June 14" with description "June 14, 1942. Suspension bridge over the Chattahoochee from Seminole County, Georgia to Houston County, Alabama. It has since been torn down." Note the referene to Houston County, Alabama instead of Jackson County, Florida. Houston County, Alabama borders Seminole County, Georgia for about three miles just north of the current Neals Landing crossing. There are no current highway crossings between Houston and Seminole counties. The reference to Houston County, Alabama is probably a mistake.
Image SEM-72-82 is titled "Photograph of an auto bridge across the Chattahoochee River, Seminole County, Georgia, ca. 1950" with description "Seminole County, ca. 1950. Swinging suspension auto bridge across the Chattahoochee River showing structure underneath the bridge."
Image SEM-73-82 is titled "Photograph of auto bridge showing suspension cables, Seminole County, Georgia, ca. 1950" with description "Seminole County, ca. 1950. Swinging suspension auto bridge showing suspension cables supporting bridge structure."
These images appear to show the same suspension bridge as my photographs. The occasional suggestion of Alabama as the location of this bridge was likely a mistake due to the proximity to the Alabama border.