Animals

The Most Terrifying Bridge in Alabama Will Put a Pit in Your Stomach

There are seventeen significant river systems in Alabama, and they are interconnected. These waterways are among the largest navigable routes in the United States, spanning around 132,000 miles. Nevertheless, the state is plenty of creepy bridges. Locals claim that one bridge in particular is the most terrifying in all of Alabama. Furthermore, you won’t quickly forget to cross it.

You’re not the only one who finds crossing bridges frightening. Millions of individuals worldwide suffer from a widespread anxiety illness called gephyrophobia, or the dread of bridges. It has a connection to the fear of heights, another prevalent phobia. Even worse, competent drivers who have never had the phobia before may find themselves suddenly affected. They go over a scary bridge one day, perspire profusely, clamp down on the steering wheel, and eventually get gephyrophobia. After then, the future of all bridges seems dire.

All bridges, though, may be unavoidable (especially if you reside in Alabama). This terrible bridge in Alabama might be best avoided by people who suffer from phobophobia, which is the fear of fear or the development of phobias.

Old Naheola Bridge

The “stuff of nightmares,” as the locals have described the Old Naheola Bridge. Fortunately, the adjacent municipality has realized how unsafe the bridge is for vehicles. There hasn’t been an automobile on the bridge since 2001. Still, barges, trains, and people use its rickety walkway.

The bridge spans the Tombigbee River and is situated close to Pennington on Alabama Highway 114. And for those who haven’t figured it out yet, it carried train, auto, and river traffic before its sister bridge was constructed. And it did so on a single, tiny lane.

If you were going to cross the river to get to Choctaw County, you would hope that nobody else was planning to enter Marengo County at the same time as you.

In case that wasn’t enough, there were brief rails on both sides of the bridge that rose to a height of around two feet, allowing cars to have an unobstructed view of the Tombigbee River. Not to mention the treacherous mile that separates the rushing river from the bridge.

It’s hardly surprising that the Old Naheola Bridge was one of the few in the nation with this unique one-lane, three-transit configuration.

Cars would straddle the train lines below for the adventurous drivers who crossed this bridge before 2001. The midsection of the bridge would rise vertically to make room for a barge to pass through. This can be unsettling on a clear day.

Billy Milstead of RuralSWAlabama.org commented, “Traveling across the Naheola bridge was always an exciting ride, and it could be a terrifying experience at times, especially at night when it was foggy or there were icy conditions.”

Traffic lights on the bridge, according to Milstead, were designed to let drivers know if it was safe for them to cross. The operator of the drawbridge was in charge of both the lights and, in a sense, everyone’s security. If you made a mistake, a train would run you over, a barge would raise your automobile into the air, or another car would come hurtling toward you. For certain drivers, the odds are better.

The Old Naheola Bridge continues to be ranked among the “Most Hated Bridges in the U.S.” by Insider. When crossing the river, the bridge is still visible. It serves as little more than a terrifying flashback to the past for the majority of drivers.

The I-65 Bridge, which crosses US 11 in downtown Birmingham, was most recently named Alabama’s most dangerous bridge. Despite the fact that most drivers who cross it probably aren’t even aware of it. And the reason for it is because the bridge appears to be just another typical overpass.

The bridge has structural flaws and is in bad shape. WBRC News claims that there hasn’t been a schedule for bridge renovations since the 2017 study.

The I-65 Bridge that crosses US 11 in the downtown area would suggest that perhaps the most ominous-looking bridges—like the Old Naheola Bridge—are the ones that motorists should be wary of. Although flyovers and overpasses frequently appear harmless, they may not always receive routine maintenance, which could result in more serious issues.

ALDOT spokesperson Tony Harris told WBRC, “We know that as a bridge that at some point in the future sooner rather than later, a lot of bridges will need to be significantly rehabilitated or replaced.”