Yesterday I went to Magnolia Plantation and Gardens for the first time since the Long White Bridge was damaged on July 7.
In an email update today Magnolia said that “during an inspection on Thursday morning, July 8 that the hard realities were revealed.”
“Decking boards were pulled up. Upright posts with railing and lattice detail were analyzed. Copper sheeting for waterproofing under the deck and 100 years of assorted hardware, straps and layers of wood structure were exposed. On that brilliant morning, the bridge showed every one of its 180 years of age.”
Two South Carolina companies have joined forces to recreate the bridge: one that specialize in old growth wide planks and slabs, including recovery of old growth sinker cypress and heart pine and another that custom mills lumber products.
A Little Blue Heron, just visible in the lower left corner, had the best view of the exposed bridge structure.
Access to the immediate area of the bridge is restricted for safety, limiting what you can see. Enlarge this close up for more detail on the condition and how the bridge was put together in the 1840s.
Amazingly, Magnolia Plantation & Gardens reports that no one heard or saw the tree that landed on the bridge come down.
“At 6:00 PM, the bridge was whole. At 8:00 PM, more than forty percent of the railing was in pieces and the structure was torqued in both the vertical and horizontal planes.”
View from the back side of the bridge, with a temporary structure for worker access. Remember, there are Alligators in this water!
The next image is a similar view that I took in March.
This small replica of the bridge was the centerpiece of a display at the United States Botanic Garden in Washington DC for their 2019 Gardens Across America exhibit.
Magnolia Plantation & Gardens, Charleston, SC
July 30, 2020
Quotes from Magnolia Plantation & Gardens public email and Facebook page, July 31, 2020
My other photos of the Long White Bridge