For a while now, many of us have expected the old Ledbetter Bridge to go tumbling into the Tennessee River, but the results were still shocking to see when portions of it finally gave way this past weekend. And I think most folks who used to drive over it on a regular basis stopped with a “Whew, that was close” attitude to marvel at just how close we came to the end of its life before getting traffic off of it. I think we pushed it about as far as we could.
Earlier this year, I kept telling myself to get by there and get a few pictures before they demolished it. I finally stopped one April morning at sunrise to snap off a few shots on my way to work. It was very quiet and breezy out in the middle of that empty bridge on a crisp Saturday morning. What a view! I didn’t have but a few minutes, so I didn’t stay long. Today, these shots seem as serene to me as it felt standing out there that morning, but that feels very odd given that a large chuck of the bridge is now sitting in a twisted pile of rubble on the ground.