The Iron Bridge Renovation
Early in the last century Norfolk and Western Railway added a spur line from the main line through Pulaski to the industrial area north of Third Street. That spur included a single span bridge across Peak Creek between First Street NE and East Main Street. Decades later, when the factories closed, the railway company abandoned the spur and donated the real estate and the bridge to the Town.
In early 2015 FOPC took on the project of adding decking and handrails to the Iron Bridge to make it a safe crossing and attractive recreational asset. A fishing platform compliant with the provision of the American with Disabilities Act (ADA), to allow wheelchair users to fish from the bridge was added to the plans. We received permission from Town Council to undertake the project and got approval from the town staff for our plan.
Donations began coming, not just from businesses we solicited, but voluntary donations from individuals as well. FOPC allocated roughly one half of the funding from our general fund, and in September the Pulaski Town Council unanimously approved the matching of funds and we were ready to go.
Work started on October 1. Mr. E. W Harless with Southern Railway, took vacation days and brought the heavy tools needed to work with the spikes and timbers on the bridge. Councilman and Sheriff’s Deputy Mr. James Radcliffe brought enthusiastic trustee workers. Crews from the town shop brought a generator, air compressor, and acetylene torch (and the porta-john) we needed to make quick work of preparation for the decking.
Dalton and Sons Construction was contracted to create the platform handrail structures on the steel beans and for the skilled carpentry needed for the handrails to have that finished look. The Daltons interrupted their backlog of work and started on the bridge on Monday October 5th. On Wednesday the 7th the trustee crew returned and began installing the decking. After several dawn-to-dusk workdays the job was done by noon on Friday, October 9.
The Town continued work on the bridge by adding skirts to both ends and installing lighting.