Until it's closure to automobile traffic in 2000, the Naheola Bridge was one of only two bridges in the world that accomodated rail and auto traffic on the same traveling surface. Traffic lights were mounted at each end of the bridge to signal the auto traffic to stop or proceed. The lights were controlled by the drawbridge operator, who was stationed in the bridge house near the middle of the bridge. This was necessary because the bridge is only wide enough for one-way traffic, and motorists could not see from one end of it to the other because the half-mile long structure had a blind curve at one end. The lights were also necessary to warn motorists of the presence of a train or the possibility of the drawbridge being in a raised position to allow barge traffic underneath.
In 2001, the Alabama State Highway Department began construction on a new bridge immediately south of the Naheola Bridge. Upon completion, this modern bridge will allow traffic to once again travel the length of Hwy 114 without detours. And, from then on when motorists cross the Tombigbee River at Naheola, they will have the luxury of two-way traffic with no delays. There will certainly be more than just passing glances, though, down at the old Naheola Bridge in rememberence of it's once unique claim to fame.