Historic High Bridge Opens

Reporter: Sally Delta

Farmville, VA - Civil War history is very much alive in Central Virginia. Last week, the Museum of the Confederacy opened, and Friday marks the official opening of the historic High Bridge just outside Farmville. It's famous from the Civil War with the Battle of High Bridge.

The bridge has taken 13 months to construct, and now it's fully equipped with a walkway, a few picnic tables and three outlooks with an absolutely breathtaking view. It's a day people all over Central Virginia have been waiting for.

"I was assigned to this park four-and-a-half years ago and it's almost a daily question, 'When is the bridge going to be open?'" said Eric Hougland, the park manager.

Locals couldn't wait to cross it.

"I was just so excited about it being open that I had to come out and see it myself," said Steven Bowen, a member of the Nottoway County Board of Supervisors.

High Bridge stands about 160 feet high and is nearly half of a mile in length.

"I'm really excited about the rich history of high bridge. To me, we're walking on sacred ground," said Bowen.

In 1865 Confederate troops attempted to burn the original High Bridge to disrupt federal supply lines.

"They actually did burn four spans of the original High Bridge, but there was a wagon bridge down below and they weren't able to burn it and federal troops were able to continue their pursuit," said Hougland.

Two days later at Appomattox Courthouse, the surrender took place.

The bridge spans over two counties when it crosses over the Appomattox River.

"I would walk it, hike it and ride on it quite a bit, and now we can start on one end and go to the other so we're very happy about that," said Doug Gilfillan, who lives in Farmville.

This weekend there will be a walk on the newly completed pedestrian bridge and folks will discuss the significance of the battle and the role it played in the Civil War.