Abandoned Luten Arch Bridge – Summerville, Georgia - Atlas Obscura

Summerville, Georgia

Abandoned Luten Arch Bridge

Bypassed and forgotten, this double arch bridge is slowly being reclaimed by nature. 

Now hidden in the woods leading nowhere, this overgrown bridge was the original bridge over Little Armuchee Creek before the highway between Rome and Summerville, Georgia, became four lanes. They rerouted this section, abandoning this double arch bridge to become part of the woods—and a platform for trees.

The modern four-lane bridges that carry the everyday traffic of US 27/Hwy 1 is just barely visible in the distance from the old bridge, and very few motorists on the present-day routing have any idea of the historic site just a stone’s throw into the woods.

This bridge is in remarkable condition for having been abandoned since the late 1960s. As can be seen from the photos, it has numerous large trees and other vegetation growing on top of it, but the understructure seems to be fully intact and it should be there for quite a few years to come.

Although it has not been proven, the bridge has been attributed to the famed bridge designer Daniel B. Luten of Indianapolis. Luten designed and patterned the Luten Arch, of which this is almost certainly an example. Unfortunately, the data plaque that was in the center of the bridge was pried out and stolen long ago. 

A footnote to this story is that the north and south rubble-stone abutments of an even earlier (perhaps Civil War-era) abandoned bridge can be found just northwest of this bridge. All told, there are the remains of three successive abandoned bridges within about 100 feet of each other. 

Know Before You Go

This bridge crosses Little Armuchee Creek just inside the southern border of Chattooga County, Georgia off US 27 / Hwy 1. The bridge is most easily accessed via a pipeline trail that runs just to the east of the current routing of US 27. There is an abandoned house with a driveway just to the south of the creek that allows access to the pipeline trail.  A Jeep or other 4x4 vehicle is recommended. It is well hidden back in the woods but can occasionally be spotted from the northbound bridge of the current US 27. You can just barely see the old routing of old US 27 as it leads off into the woods. Be prepared for a short hike through a fairly dense and overgrown forest in order to access the bridge. At times, the area can be very muddy so bring mud boots.

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