--photo courtesy Gerald Torrence, White County Historical Society

Judsonia Bridge

This beautiful modern-day scene on Little Red River at Judsonia captures one of the most unique bridges in Arkansas. The cantilevered turn span highway bridge across the river at Judsonia was completed in 1924. It is the only center-bearing swing bridge which survives in the state. The R.L. Gaster Construction Company of Little Rock erected the 2265-foot main span while the residents of Judsonia displayed community spirit in donating time and money to the approaches. The bridge was constructed as part of a national modernizing movement to improve roads, giving the town of Judsonia access to outlying regions on the opposite side of the river. As steamboats came up Little Red River, the bridge's turn mechanism was operated by one person in the center of the bridge using a key or lever that fit directly into the gars. The peak at the top of the bridge structurally aided in centering the weight over the center pivot and in supporting the ends when the bridge was open. The bridge ceased to turn in the late 1920s as navigation on the river diminished. For additional information, see the 1989 edition of White County Heritage, published by the White County Historical Society, P.O. Box 537, Searcy, AR 72145.

For additional information and pictures see Bridge Hunters   Or   Arkansas Highway Department