Old Tugaloo River Bridge — Westminster, South Carolina
SC Picture Project | Oconee County | Old Tugaloo River Bridge
The abandoned ends of this rusty but historic truss bridge are all that remain of Old Tugaloo River Bridge, which once connected South Carolina to Georgia along US 123. Today they are known as the “Broken Bridges” and serve as two of the area’s most peaceful and scenic fishing piers. You will also find picnic tables and a boat ramp at the site.
The Broken Bridge Fishing Piers are now part of Lake Hartwell, a man-made reservoir that features over 960 miles of shoreline and almost 56,000 acres of water. In South Carolina, Lake Hartwell spans Oconee and Anderson counties. (See more photos of Lake Hartwell here.)
While often identified with Westminster, the old bridge is actually closer to the community of Madision. US 123 passed through the area until sometime in the 1950s, when it was rerouted and a new, decidedly less interesting bridge replaced this one.
The Tugaloo River is a popular place in the Upstate to enjoy water-skiing, boating, sailing, and fishing. A short river that straddles the state line, it’s fed by the Tallulah River and the Chattooga River and ends as an arm of Lake Hartwell. After it flows out of Hartwell Dam, it is then called the Savannah River.
Reflections on Old Tugaloo River Bridge
Barry Gooch, a native of Port Royal and the SC Picture Project’s very first contributor, shared these thoughts on his trip to Broken Bridge Pier: “The bridge is called a ‘Camel Truss Bridge’ and is the abandoned old US-123 bridge over the Tugaloo River (upper part of Lake Hartwell) which connects Oconee County with Stephens County, Georgia. The bridge has been partially demolished but each landward end was left for the use of fishermen. The structure is in fairly good condition and would make a good location for fishing or sightseeing.”