This bridge is an excellent example of the Wrought Iron Bridge Company's design for a bowstring truss bridge. Although no specific construction date could be located, truss bridges of this design generally date to the 1870s. A ca. 1875 date seems appropriate. Typical of the Wrought Iron Bridge Company, this bowstring features Keystone style columns for a top chord. Star-iron "cruciform" members are present on the bridge, and the bridge has a latticed design for the verticals/outriggers.
The bridge was replaced in 2008, and thanks to efforts from the county, the historic bridge was placed in storage for rehabilitation and re-erection at an undetermined location. In August 2010, HistoricBridges.org inquired as to the status of the project, and the county responded with the following update:
The recently replaced 1876 Beatty's Mill Bridge, an 86-foot wrought iron pony bow-truss structure was dismantled and transported to the county's facility at Armsdale outside Kittanning. The parapets retained their tension. The parts will be tested for metal fatigue with anticipation of reuse as either a 3-ton highway or pedestrian bridge. The most logical site is located in Rayburn Township over Cowanshannock Creek at a location near "Buttermilk Falls". It would replace a closed 90-foot bridge structure that needs to be dismantled. Obviously, the site would have to be retrofitted for the difference in length. Once we determine tensile strength, we can determine type of use. We will also use a crew from our county jail to scrape and renovate the painting of all the parts of this bridge. The "plus" on this item is the fact that it will not be over water and therefore easier to do.
Information and Findings From Pennsylvania's Historic Bridge Inventory
Discussion of Bridge
The ca. 1875, 86'-long bowstring pony truss bridge is supported on ashlar abutments with wingwalls. The bridge was rehabilitated in 1991 when two verticals were replaced. The bridge is a remarkably complete and important example of an early metal truss bridge, and it is historically and technologically significant. It has all of the features described in Wrought Iron Bridge Company's 1874 catalogue for a column iron arch bridge.
Discussion of Surrounding Area
The bridge carries 1 lane of TR 659, an unimproved township road, over a stream in a rural area of active farms at the Y intersection with TR 625.
Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: Yes
Click on a thumbnail or gallery name below to visit that particular photo gallery. If videos are available, click on a video name to view and/or download that particular video.
Original / Full Size Photos
|A collection of overview and detail photos. For the best visual immersion and full detail, or for use as a desktop background, this gallery presents the photos for this bridge in the original digital camera resolution.|
Mobile Optimized Gallery
|A collection of overview and detail photos. View the photos for this bridge in a reduced size which is useful for mobile/smartphone users, modem
(dial-up) users, or those who do not wish to wait for the longer
download times of the full-size photos. Alternatively, view this photo gallery using a popup slideshow viewer (great for mobile users) by clicking the link below.
Browse Gallery With Popup Viewer
© Copyright 2003-2018, HistoricBridges.org. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer: HistoricBridges.org is a volunteer group of private citizens. HistoricBridges.org is NOT a government agency, does not represent or work with any governmental agencies, nor is it in any way associated with any government agency or any non-profit organization. While we strive for accuracy in our factual content, HistoricBridges.org offers no guarantee of accuracy. Information is provided "as is" without warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied. Information could include technical inaccuracies or errors of omission. Opinions and commentary are the opinions of the respective HistoricBridges.org member who made them and do not necessarily represent the views of anyone else, including any outside photographers whose images may appear on the page in which the commentary appears. HistoricBridges.org does not bear any responsibility for any consequences resulting from the use of this or any other HistoricBridges.org information. Owners and users of bridges have the responsibility of correctly following all applicable laws, rules, and regulations, regardless of any HistoricBridges.org information.