New River Bridge, Spanning New River at State Route 623, Pembroke, Giles County, VA
Significance: The New River Bridge at Pembroke is unusual in its combination of various truss types and engineering details, many of which are unique in the area and survive only rarely statewide. Built in 1915-1916 by the Virginia Bridge and Iron Company of Roanoke, Virginia, it combines seven spans, six of which are carried by metal trusses of four different varieties. The bridge demonstrates the persistence of at least three early technological solutions generally abandoned by the turn of the century: nonriveted field constructions, the use of all pin connections (on the three main spans), and the incorporation of hand-forged welds and wrought iron for various structural members. Within the state, it contains the greatest number and variety of truss types for a given automotive crossing. Additionally, Virginia's longest Pennsylvania Petit through truss is found here, being the last of three bridges of this type to survive. Two other rare statewide features are metal column piers and a Pratt deck truss, the last of two to survive. The New River Bridge is nestled against Castle Rock, one of the most scenic natural formations in the region. The juxtaposition of technological and natural landmarks makes for a unique site.
Survey number: HAER VA-68