This graceful structure is perhaps among the most beautiful bridges in Ohio. The bridge is a reinforced concrete through arch bridge, an uncommon bridge type often called a rainbow arch bridge. Among rainbow arch bridges, this structure is a very long example, a trait that makes it both historically significant and impressive to look at. The bridge is large enough that it includes overhead bracing, which adds to the visual experience as one crosses the bridge. The bridge is also located in a scenic location. A walk down the river bank offers beautiful views of the bridge. The Center Road Bridge is a great example of how engineers were able to design a bridge that really showed how concrete can be used to create a functional yet also visually stunning crossing.
This bridge is one of two similar bridges in the county, the other being the Mill Road Bridge. The Center Road Bridge differs from the Mill Road Bridge in that it has been rehabilitated. The rehabilitation of one of the two structures is excellent. The rehabilitation appears to have been well-executed. The original concrete has been retained. The railings have been replaced using a heavier, but in-kind design. The deck has been replaced, but the floor beams are original. The repairs have maintained the integrity of the most important parts of the structure, and should also keep the structure functional for decades to come. It would be nice to see the Mill Road Bridge rehabilitated as well, as the Mill Road Bridge is a magnificent structure as well. Ashtabula County is just lucky to happen to have two of these extremely rare, large, and significant examples of a beautiful structure type.
Information and Findings From Ohio's Historic Bridge Inventory
The bridge carries a 2 lane road over a stream in a rural setting with scattered 20th century residences.
The 1 span, 154'-long, reinforced-concrete thru arch has paneled upper lateral struts and is finished with concrete balustrades. The approach spans appear to be slabs or T beams.
Rehabilitated in 1999.
Summary of Significance
The 1925 rainbow arch is a complete example of a rare bridge type/design in Ohio. It was sensitively rehabilitated in 1999. The inventory has identified seven surviving examples dating from 1909 to 1930 (Phase 1A
Update, 2008). The eligible recommendation of the prior inventory remains appropriate.
The bridge is one of 5 remaining examples of the type that was once not uncommon in Ohio. It offered an aesthetic treatment preferred in urban and picturesque settings. The 6 examples date from 1909 to 1930, and each is of high significance given their limited numbers and importance within the context as the aesthetic alternative to the thru truss bridge.
Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: Yes
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