1907 - Bridge Works Busy

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Sun Apr 8 14:02:19 EDT 2007

Roanoke Times, April 7, 1907


Being Worked to Fullest Capacity -- Night Shift Contemplated

A Times man had the pleasure yesterday of a visit to the busy
works of the Virginia Bridge Company, and was surprised at the
magnitude of this plant and the great activity which was displayed
everywhere around their shops and yards. They have recently completed
a very large fireproof structural shop, and at both ends of this are
long runways on which a number of large cranes which handle the steel
into the shop and the manufactured work out of the shop, and it was
surprising to note that these cranes could handle large girders
weighing about 40 tons with apparently the same rapidity and ease as
one ton. The writer noticed that there was something like 2,000 tons
of bridge work and girders which had been finished and piled on the
shipping yard awaiting cars for shipment, and loading was being done
on three sidings at one time while he was there. Some of this work,
he was told, was it for the Norfolk and Western railroad and the
balance for various railroads and other industries throughout the South.
The company have been running their works both day and night for
about five months and the production last month was the largest in
the history of the company. The had over 400 men on the pay rolls at
the Roanoke shops, and the writer was informed that the company
employs 200 men at its Burlington shops, and that shipments from
there last month were very heavy. The Virginia Bridge Company also
has a number of erection crews throughout the country constructing
bridges and other iron structures. Among other large contracts
recently completed is a double-track bridge over James river for the
Norfolk and Western at Lynchburg; a double-track bridge over the
Elizabeth River for the Tidewater railroad at Norfolk; three draw
spans for a Florida railroad; five railroad bridges over the Coosa
river at Talladega, Ala.; a seven-story bank and office building in
Vicksburg, Miss.; the structural steel in the Norfolk and Western
foundry building at Roanoke, and a number of other similar structures
in other parts of the South.
The company have an exceedingly comfortable and modern office
building located at the works, where the writer observed officers,
engineers, draftsmen, and clerks numbering about 40 men. This plant
has always been Roanoke's most important commercial industry, and has
been constantly adding to its capacity, force and equipment since it
was started some fifteen years ago.

- Ron Davis

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