This is a ca. 1890 bridge that was built by the Wrought Iron Bridge Company. It displays the unusual design details that this prolific company used on many of its pony truss bridges, notably the use of threaded rod with nut connections at the end posts, which include cast iron elements at these points. One of the vertical members has been replaced and original railings are missing, but otherwise the bridge is unaltered. Original built-up floorbeams remain.
In Spring/Summer 2014, this historic bridge is to be replaced, however the historic truss will be relocated and preserved for pedestrian use. The new location will be at coordinates 39.99415 -76.84986, or near 2480 West Canal Road, Dover, PA 17315
The preservation of this bridge by relocation will mark a rare example of a historic truss bridge preserved in this manner in Pennsylvania, where this form of preservation has sadly been nearly unheard of thus far. It is hoped that this will help set a precedent for future preservation projects.
The National Bridge Inventory gave a bad 1930 construction date. It is not known if this suggests that at this date the bridge was relocated, or if its just a total error.
Information and Findings From Pennsylvania's Historic Bridge Inventory
Discussion of Bridge
The single span, 42'-long, metal Pratt pony truss bridge built ca. 1890 is supported on stone abutments. The truss is composed of built-up compression members and eye bar and rod tension members. It is pin connected with the exception of cast iron connecting pieces at the upper chord-end post connections, a detail associated with Wrought Iron Bridge Co. pony truss bridges. U-shaped hangers support rolled section floorbeams carrying steel stringers and an open steel grid deck placed ca. 1980. Original railings have been lost and replaced by W-beam guide railings. The bridge is a historically and technologically significant example of its type/design by an important late 19th century fabricator. The Wrought Iron Bridge Co. of Canton, OH, was among the best known and most successful builders to establish a national market for its bridges. The company was very active in York County during the last two decades of the 19th century.
Discussion of Surrounding Area
The bridge carries a 2 lane road over a stream in a rural setting of active farms and scattered late 19th to late 20th century residences approximately 400' east of the crossroads village of Clear Spring. At the northwest quadrant is a mid 20th century commercial building. Approximately 150' to the west is a farm complex with early 20th century barn and late 19th century brick residence. The eastern quadrants are wooded. The setting does not have the cohesiveness or integrity of a historic district.
Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: Yes
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CarCam: Westbound Crossing
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