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Mill Street Bridge

   


Mill Street Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth and Rick McOmber

Bridge Documented: July 11, 2008
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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Mill Street Over Hakihokake Creek
Location
Milford: Hunterdon County, New Jersey
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
By Builder/Contractor: Unknown

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Not Available or Not Applicable
Main Span Length
44 Feet (13.4 Meters)
Structure Length
46 Feet (14 Meters)
Roadway Width
14 Feet (4.3 Meters)
Spans
1 Main Span(s)
NBI Number
Not Applicable

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)

Bridge Documentation

The body of water this bridge crosses is a small, short creek. However, despite this the list of names for this creek as well as the length of some of the names probably are longer than the creek itself! The creek is called Quequacommissacong Creek, but the EPA also notes that it is officially known as Hakihokake Creek. They also note that Quequacommisacong Creek also is known as Milford Creek. It is extremely likely that the Milford Creek name is used because the other two names are too much of a mouthful!

This bridge is a rare example of a Queenpost pony truss bridge. The Historic Bridge Inventory below provides a good history and description. However they contradict themselves on the issue whether the village is a potential historic district or not. Also, this bridge appears to have been altered further since the inventory inspected it. The bridge today has lost a fair amount of integrity, including replaced and/or spliced diagonals and numerous welded plate additions. Original railings have been lost. Despite this, the bridge remains significant because of its rare truss configuration.

Information and Findings From New Jersey's Historic Bridge Inventory

Discussion of Bridge

Summary: The 3-panel pin-connected queen post pony truss bridge is supported on random ashlar abutments with wingwalls. Rod stock is used for all members except the top chords and end posts, which are built-up. Loop forged eye bar members are joined at the lower panel point by a single pin which also holds the floor beam U hanger. The well preserved, hybrid span is technologically distinguished, and it is also a contributing element to a potential historic district.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: Hunterdon County Master Plan: Sites of Historic Interest, 1979.
Hunterdon County Cultural & Heritage Commission. The First 275 Years of Hunterdon County, 1714-1989. Flemington, New Jersey, 1989.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: The 46'-long bridge is a single span wrought iron pin-connected queen post pony truss span supported on an ashlar substructure. The truss consists of built-up portals and top chord of channels with a top cover plate and battens. The rivets are small and widely spaced. Other members are composed of bar stock with loop-forged eyes at both ends, which is used for the verticals as well as the bottom chords, diagonals, and counters with sleeve nuts for adjustments. The vertical eye bars are more widely spaced at the lower pin connection as they are set outside the eye bars for the diagonals and lower chord. The expansion bearing is a sliding plate on a cast iron masonry, or bearing, plate. The original pipe railings on the bridge and two of the approach wingwalls are original as are the loopforged brackets that affix them to the trusses. Alterations are minimal. Outriggers have been welded to the top chords and floor beams, and some welding has been done at the bearings.

HISTORICAL AND HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE: The 3-panel queen post pony truss bridge is technologically significant as a rare and well-preserved example of its type. It is also noteworthy for its construction details with loop-forged eye bars used for the verticals. The span appears to be of wrought iron, and while not documented in the records of the Hunterdon County engineer, stylistically the span dates to ca. 1890. The bridge is well preserved, and it ranks as one of the several idiosyncratic pony truss spans in the county. It is important in documenting the evolution of metal truss bridge design, which as late as 1890 was still an era of experimentation in both design and material use. In addition to its technological significance, the bridge is a contributing resource in a potential historic district. It is located on the northeastern edge of the borough of Milford, a well-preserved 19th-century settlement. Milford, once known as "Burnt Mills," was, by 1880, a center for lumber and agricultural trade on the Delaware River. It boasted three churches, four stores, two hotels, two gristmills (one of which is within site of the bridge), a sawmill, a drug store, a hardware store, a carriage shop, two blacksmiths, a post office and a railroad depot serviced by the Belvidere & Delaware Railroad. Despite some late-20th century development, Milford retains its 19th century character, and the Mill Street bridge dates from its period of significance, which extends through World War I. Boundary Description and Justification: The bridge is individually distinguished, but it is also located on the northeast edge of the potential historic district of Milford village. Thus the bridge and its surroundings are significant.

Discussion of Surrounding Area

The bridge carries one lane of a lightly traveled road over a minor stream. It is located in a wooded village setting, adjacent to modified 19th- and 20th-century homes, barns, and a converted mill and race downstream from the bridge. The village does not have historic district potential because of alterations and intrusions.

Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: Yes

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