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Riverside Avenue Bridge

   


Riverside Avenue Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth and Rick McOmber

Bridge Documented: July 13, 2008
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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Riverside Avenue Over Railroad (Metro-North)
Location
Riverside: Fairfield County, Connecticut
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1871 By Builder/Contractor: Keystone Bridge Company of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
1989
Main Span Length
164 Feet (50 Meters)
Structure Length
171 Feet (52.1 Meters)
Roadway Width
20.7 Feet (6.3 Meters)
Spans
1 Main Span(s)
NBI Number
5808

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)

Bridge Documentation

View Archived National Bridge Inventory Report - Has Additional Details and Evaluation

View Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) Documentation For This Bridge

HAER Data Pages, PDF

View The Original Patent For The Diagonal/Vertical Intersection Devices On This Historic Bridge

View The Original Patent For The Bottom Chord Connections On This Historic Bridge

View A Historical Brochure For The Keystone Bridge Company

This bridge is extremely significant as one of the rarest metal bridges in the entire country, as a bridge with primary structural members made of cast iron bridge. It is further significant for displaying unique patented details, for being an extremely early example of the uncommon Whipple (double-intersection Pratt) truss configuration, and for being an early example of a noteworthy bridge company's work. All compression members on the bridge are cast iron, as is the portal and sway bracing. Like most extremely early metal truss bridges, the bridge displays unusual (and often patented) member design and connection details, many elements perhaps being the last remaining examples of their design. In fact, this bridge, which was designed by F. C. Lowthorp and erected by the Keystone Bridge Company, uses two different patented details, one for the bottom chord connection and one for the unusual sleeves that allow the diagonal members of this Whipple truss to intersect the vertical members.

This bridge was originally part of a six span bridge over the Housatonic River in Stratford, Connecticut. That bridge was replaced in 1884, and by 1894, one of the spans was relocated to its current location on Riverside Avenue. In 1925, the flooring system was replaced. The floorbeams were replaced with riveted built-up floorbeams. In 1989, the bridge was rendered decorative/non-structural when stringers were added under the bridge to support the structure. The 1925 floorbeams had holes cut out of them to hide these stringers in. Normally, the destruction of the floorbeams would be distasteful, but since in this particular case they are not original to the cast iron superstructure, their loss is less significant.

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Photos and Videos: Riverside Avenue Bridge

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