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Housefelt Bridge

Musselman Avenue Bridge

Housefelt Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth and Rick McOmber

Bridge Documented: August 2, 2007

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Musselman Avenue (Slickerman Road, TR-494) Over Coxes Creek
Somerset: Somerset County, Pennsylvania: United States
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1910 By Builder/Contractor: Unknown

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Main Span Length
40 Feet (12.19 Meters)
Structure Length
43 Feet (13.11 Meters)
Roadway Width
9.8 Feet (2.99 Meters)
1 Main Span(s)
NBI Number

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)

Bridge Documentation

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

It remains unclear why Queenpost truss bridges are often cast aside as "Pratt" truss bridges, as was done with this bridge in the Historic Bridge Inventory. Queenpost truss bridges should not be considered Pratt truss bridges. Queenpost truss bridges represent a design that was used, particularly in the earlier truss bridge era, to create small spans during a time that steel stringers bridges were not economical due to the limits in size of rolled beams. Although a bridge like this one is a late example, it still represents this truss configuration that was a solution for crossings where a three panel bridge was effective. Truss bridges of this length would not be built often into the 20th Century as steel stringer became common for short span applications.

This bridge was however seriously altered when stringers were added below the trusses. This alteration sets this structure behind other Queenpost bridges found elsewhere, but it remains regionally significant where few other Queenposts are to be found.

Information and Findings From Pennsylvania's Historic Bridge Inventory

Discussion of Bridge

The ca. 1910, riveted, Pratt pony truss bridge with outriggers was altered in 1949 when built up stringers were placed below the existing floorbeams. The stringers carry much of the live load. The trusses have minor welded repairs, and they are a common design that is common throughout southwestern Pennsylvania. The bridge, which has no innovative or distinctive details, is not historically or technologically significant.

Discussion of Surrounding Area

The bridge carries 1 lane of an unimproved road over a stream in a wooded and mixed use area at the southeast end of Somerset.

Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: No


Photos and Videos: Housefelt Bridge

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