Historic Bridges Encyclopedia

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Historic Bridges Encyclopedia

This portion of the website serves as a portal to a wide variety of media and resources relating to historic bridges. They are sorted into a couple different categories.

HistoricBridges.org Presentations and Guides

HistoricBridges.org Presentations - HistoricBridges.org has given a number of presentations and speeches. The presentations below offer a look at the presentations that HistoricBridges.org can give, but also contain sufficient in-slide text to be effective ways for website visitors to learn about various historic bridge topics.

An Introduction to Historic Bridges - This is a crash course in the vast, rich world of historic bridges. If you are new to the world of historic bridges and are confused by any of the terms used on HistoricBridges.org and other bridge websites, these presentations are for you. If you are looking for a list of truss bridge configurations with example bridges, these presentations are for you.

Historic Bridges: General Information

Historic Bridge Essays - HistoricBridges.org offers a selection of essays and research papers about historic bridge topics here.

Historic Bridge Patents - A list of some of the most important/noteworthy patents relating to historic bridges. Emphasis placed upon patents associated with bridges that have been documented on HistoricBridges.org

National Bridge Inventory Search Tool- Powered by the HistoricBridges.org BridgeSeek engine, you can now search raw National Bridge Inventory data for a number of states using a variety of search options including bridge type, county/state, etc. Note that we do not currently cover all states.

Ohio Historic Bridge Inventory and Assessment (Excel Spreadsheet) - This is the detailed historic bridge inventory that includes paragraphs for each bridge describing its significance and assessment, as well as structure type, etc.

Indiana Historic Bridge Inventory - This is the detailed historic bridge inventory that includes paragraphs for each bridge describing its significance and assessment, as well as structure type, etc.

Pennsylvania Historic Bridge Inventory Search Tool- Powered by the HistoricBridges.org BridgeSeek engine, you can now search Pennsylvania's Historic Bridge Inventory using a variety of search options including bridge type and BMS bridge number.

Michigan Historic Bridge Inventory 1995: Metal Truss Bridges - An interactive table that lists nearly every truss bridge in Michigan as of 1995. When MDOT's 2005 inventory is completed, I will be able to provide a more recent list. The purpose of this is to allow people to visit truss bridges that may not be included in the Bridge Browser yet. I welcome visitors to report findings and submit photos.

Michigan Historic Bridge Inventory 1995: The Survey Sample - A PDF digitized version of the official 1995 Historic Bridge Inventory, which offers a listing and overview of historic bridges in Michigan. While many of the bridges have been demolished, it is still an invaluable tool in narrowing down where the interesting bridges in Michigan are. In addition the inventory features some interesting stories about Michigan's transportation history.

Michigan's Signature R4 Railings: The Evolution and Design of a Railing That Defined 30 Years of Bridges - Perhaps no other single feature unites bridges built in Michigan from 1932 to the early 1960s than the beautiful R4 railings which often adorned these bridges. With a healthy combination of photos and text, this is an in-depth discussion of the development and design of the R4 railing standard in Michigan as well as an exploration of a connection to railings seen on bridges in Ontario and other Canadian provinces.

Concrete Camelback Bridges (Curved Chord Through Girder Bridges)- Learn about, take a look at, and compare the features of Michigan's unique type of historic bridge.

Historic Bridge Park - A comprehensive visitor's guide to this unique park located in Calhoun County, Michigan whose focus is the restored truss bridges within the park.

Darnell Plus - A List of Bridge Companies, Locations, and Years of Operation. List created by Victor Darnell and expanded by James Stewart.

Iron and Steel Brands- A List of with numerous photos of the various iron and steel brands encountered on historic bridges.

A Study of the Groton Bridge Company - A copy of a 1985 thesis by Pamela Jo Thurber that is noteworthy for its extensive discussion of the Groton Bridge Company of Groton, New York

Dr. James L. Cooper Historic Indiana Bridges Database (Under Construction)

"Bridge" In Other Languages - This is a simple Excel Spreadsheet that lists translations of the word "bridge" as returned by Google Translate. All languages offered by Google Translate are shown in this list. View a word cloud of the results.

HistoricBridges.org - Mini-Websites / Other Features

Masterpieces - A collection of some of the best historic bridge photos in Original / Full Size format are available here in convenient galleries. The point of this is make it easy for people simply looking for pretty bridge photos to quickly find them.

Historical Connections: Historic Metal Water Towers - If you like metal truss bridges, you might be interested in other structures that were built using the exact same elements as truss bridges, including structural metal (v-laced steel for example) and construction methods (pinned connections for example). This collection of photos not only represents these forgotten towers, it also serves to reveal the stunning similarities these towers have to metal truss bridges.

Photographic Detour - A Photographic Collection of the Natural World - This is a sort of mini-website. Between visiting bridges and my own general explorations, I have developed a decent collection of nature-related photos. This is a sort of mini-website. I have a lot of close-up insect photos, as well as an extensive photographic library of frogs found in Michigan.

Historic Bridges: Inspiring Restoration, Fighting Demolition

Nicol Road Bridge Guardrail Project - As much as I wanted to save the entire Nicol Road Bridge from the dumpster, I just didn't have the resources to do it. Thanks to the contractors who were tearing the bridge down, I was able to end up with the the lattice guardrails from the bridge. Luke Gordon is working with these railings to restore and reuse them on a private crossing. This is a discussion and gallery of the early stages of this project.

The Hall of Fame and Shame - A table discussing both places that have gone above the call of duty to preserve historic bridges, as well as those places that have committed horrible atrocities against historic bridges.

Turning the Tide (ARCHIVE, No Longer Updated) - Help an important piece of historic bridge legislation revised and passed in 2007 to increase historic bridge preservation: A guide to write letters to U.S. government officials and legislators. These proposed changes did not pass in 2006 because the government felt that not enough citizens had spoken up in favor of historic bridges. Help change that!

Old Historic Bridge Articles

Old Articles - These are old articles from the earlier days of this website, when it was run by a single person and was more of a personal journal about bridges. These articles are outdated and are kept for archival purposes only.

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