BB Comer Bridge: Decision Day

Overview of the slue, approach and main spans of the BB Comer Bridge. Photo taken by David Kennamer
Overview of the slue, approach and main spans of the BB Comer Bridge. Photo taken by David Kennamer

Voting on the allocation of funds to restoring the bridge to take place on November 9th.

SCOTTSBORO, ALABAMA-  At their Monday working session, the Jackson County Commission agreed to place the proposal to work with Comer Bridge Foundation and NSRGA / Workin’ Bridges on the agenda for a vote on Monday, November 9. The proposal agreed to put 1 million dollars into a county account to start the fund for eventual removal of the 1930 B.B. Comer Bridge, if necessary, and to start the process of design and planning bridge preservation.

Marie Bostick of the Land Trust of North Alabama wrote today, “I just feel so helpless. I know you and so many others have fought hard to save this bridge and it is so obviously the right thing to do.  Unfortunately, if it is demolished, we will regret it. And one day, we’ll be looking for the money to build a new bridge across the river for peds and bikers.  You can just see it coming!” The Economic Impact Study showed that the trail makes economic sense for the region, with a quarter of the impacts directly attributed to the trail crossing over the Tennessee River at Scottsboro.

At this time there are no plans for the Scottsboro City council to take this matter up. However, Scottsboro City Councilman, Brent Miller stated in a response to Comer Bridge Foundation (CBF) outreach, “I’ll be glad to discuss efforts to save the bridge and request that it be added to the next work session so the council can possibly discuss adding it to the agenda. I’ll make a conscious decision based on what I believe is in the best interest of Scottsboro. I’ll be glad to discuss this issue with anyone who would like to express their opinion.” Miller’s office is located at 121 North Broad Street, one block north of Willow Street. He will be out on city business at the end of this week, but if the sign says open, he will be there. We urge citizens to talk to all of their elected officials about how to build Scottsboro using the bridge as an asset and a resource, rather than an old bridge that needs paint. Comer Bridge Foundation board Chairman, Arnold Wheeler stated, “Let’s just hope these political leaders, who have refused to get involved, will now come forward and help us, all of us, save our bridge.”

The Jackson County Commissioners can be reached at 256 – 574 -9280.
Governor Bentley can be reached on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GovernorRobertBentley, or by calling 334-242-7100 or Faxing 334-353-0004. He can also be reached on Twitter under the name @GovernorBentley.  Ask for his input in working with ALDOT to accept the counter offer to his requirement of $5 million dollars in a fund somewhere for something.

The B.B.Comer Bridge, completed in 1930, is the last of the 15 memorial toll bridges enacted by legislation in 1927 that were built by the Kansas City Bridge Company but contracted through the Alabama State Bridge Corporation. Selected for the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage in October 2013, the B.B. Comer Bridge was  also included in the 2015 Places in Peril list from the Alabama Trust for Historic Preservation.

Contact Charles Holderfield  with any questions: (256) 486-1940 or Comer Bridge Foundation Media at media@comerbridge.org.

For more information about the CBF and efforts to save the bridge, visit the CBF website at http://www.comerbridge.org and consider liking CBF’s Friends of B.B. Comer Bridge at https://www.facebook.com/comerbridgefoundation.

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