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June 1993

Steel Deck Bridge in the Doe River Gorge

This is the steel deck bridge looking at the tunnel 4, with a steel thru truss bridge on the other side. And this is how the locals cross the bridges in the Gorge. I once saw Dean Smith cross this bridge, but he sat on the side girder, and inched his butt across very slowly, but he did cross it! You can see from this angle that the stringers on this bridge are standard gauge also. They are 5 feet apart. The amusement park that put down the rail shifted the rails to one side, I don't know why, but my guess is so that one rail was over a stringer.

There's a funny story (there's always a funny story) to go with this photo. These locals, two guys, a girl and a dog passed us while we were standing and taking pictures. We were also trying to get up the courage to cross the bridge. The hikers just walked around us and crossed just like they were walking on solid roadbed. Made some of us feel kinda wimpy. To be fair, though, the side girder looks narrow, but it's 16 inches wide, which really shouldn't be any trouble to cross. It's just that it's 37 feet down to the water. Anyway, they had been swimming somewhere down in the Gorge and were going home. When the guy carrying the orange cooler got to the other side, he called his dog that had remained on our side. The dog hesitated, whined, started across, stumbled on some of the ties, then came back to us and refused to cross the bridge. I think you can see where this story is going, so it's continued on the next photo...


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