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Seaboard Air Line Railroad Bridge


This Seaboard Air Line Railroad bridge crosses North Tryon Street, which was lowered to form an underpass that  runs below the rail line.  The wide concrete bridge now carries four tracks.  The bridge appears to have been constructed entirely of reinforced concrete.  As opposed to the nearby West Sixth Street Railroad Underpass which utilizes massive concrete beam construction, the Seaboard bridge relies on a single thick reinforced slab. 

Like the nearby West Sixth Street bridge, the Seaboard bridge features ornamentation cast into the concrete.  The stepped angled trim that highlights and accentuates the gentle arch of the bridge's  main span is typical of the Art Modern Style.   Art Moderne Style emphasizes "sleekness" through the use of prominent horizontal designs and smooth  surfaces.  Art Moderne structures usually have a "machine-like" quality, that often suggests speed and movement, which is in keeping with a railroad bridge. 



The slab is supported by a series of posts on each side of the street that form a galleries that contain the sidewalks that run along the east and the west sides of Tryon street. The use of galleries, which is also seen on the Sixth Street bridge, allows for the critical span of the bridge to be shortened.  The exterior gallery posts extend above the rail bed, and are used as massive anchors for the bridge's metal guardrails.  Typical of Art Modern, these tall posts feature stepped shoulders and stepped fluting.  The three metal plates that form the posts for the guardrails reflect the shouldered concrete posts, with the center plate taller than the others.  The metal pipe rails are set in an asymmetrical pattern.  At the southeast corner of the bridge the gallery extends out for three bays, with part of the platform for the Seaboard Airline RR Terminal above the gallery.  To the south of the extended gallery are two large sections of concrete retaining wall, topped with guard rail and featuring the same cast features found on the bridge.  The texture and color of the concrete in the retaining walls may indicate that these walls were repaired or were a later addition.










View from the North


West Gallery


 Detail of Guardrail


Retaining Walls