The Richmond and York River Railroad and trestle bridge.

The Richmond and York River Railroad and trestle bridge. (Amy Jo Martin / March 14, 2014)

“There was in the Turnout 33,094 lbs. of rails, and one Turn Table estimated to be worth before the War, $1,500,” he said.

The Richmond and York River Railroad remained largely unused and damaged until the Civil War ended in 1865.

Commercial navigation of the river increased in the late 1880s, though, when a 148-foot long truss swing span was built to allow boats to cross the area.

The Southern Railway Company purchased the railway and bridge in 1894 and still owns it today.

The current 183-foot truss was built in 1928 and is still opened and closed by hand. A hydraulic system was installed in 1983 to aid in the bridge opening and closings.

Steel replaced the wooden timbers trestles in 1990. The bridge has remained mostly untouched since then, aside from routine repairs to damage caused by ice, the drift, and exposure.

The trestle was recently opened last month so that Dock Masters Marine Construction owner Hank Thorndike, of West Point, could get his pile driver to King William County.

Martin can be reached by phone at 804-885-0040.