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Links to Bridge-Related Websites

What follows is a list of some sites that visitors to this site may also want to visit. Click on the name of a site to visit that website. Note that these are all external links, and I am not responsible for any of the content on the sites that these links refer to.

Bridge Marketing Websites

Looking For A Pedestrian or Light Vehicular Bridge? Whether you are a park, trail organization, college, city, or private landowner, you want your property to be something unique and special. Why settle for a boring, dull pre-fabricated pedestrian bridge when you can get a beautiful historic bridge to do the same thing? The following states maintain a list of bridges which you can acquire, relocate and restore. These bridges normally can be acquired free of charge, so use the money you were going to put toward buying a pre-fab bridge and instead use it to restore the bridge. Not sure how to restore a bridge? HistoricBridges.org can help guide you to people and firms that can help. Note: these bridges will be demolished if nobody acquires them.

Pennsylvania
Michigan
Indiana
Missouri
Ohio
North Carolina 
Nationwide Listings On BridgeHunter.com

Firms Specializing In Historic Bridge Restoration

There are many misunderstandings about historic bridge restoration in terms of feasibility. There tends to be the thought that restoration costs more than replacement, results in less bridge service life than replacement, and is in general a bad investment. Nothing could be further from the truth, particularly when a firm experienced in the unique construction of historic bridges is hired to restore a bridge. This is true for both the design engineer and metal fabricator/contractor. Below are some of the most outstanding historic bridge restoration firms in the country who have distinguished themselves by the superior quality and value of the work they do.

Bach Ornamental and Structural Steel - This fabricator is highly experienced and specializes in the restoration of historic metal bridges. They are noted particularly for not only the quality of the work, but the low cost at which they can complete the work.

J. A. Barker - This Indiana engineer is a major reason why Indiana has so many beautifully restored historic metal truss bridges. The firm is experienced in designing beautiful comprehensive restorations, while also being able to work with local bridge owners attempting to repair historic bridges with limited funds.

Sparks Engineering - This engineer is a nationally noted firm with a primary focus in the restoration of historic bridges and structures.

Preservation Assistance Websites

Historic Bridge Foundation - This group is dedicated to helping people preserve bridges. You can contact them to get advice and assistance on how to encourage preservation. They will help you sift through the bureaucracy, grants, and other stumbling blocks to saving a historic bridge. The group is based in Texas, but will assist people anywhere. The website also has information on historic Texas bridges.

 

VJM Metal Craftsman - This website is a clearinghouse of news, information, and articles, research, and workshops focused on the restoration and of historic metal truss bridges. VJM Metal Craftsman is run by Vern Mesler, a leading metal truss bridge restoration expert. A strong focus is placed on the restoration of metal truss bridges with attention paid to retaining original materials or exactly replicating worn parts of a truss bridge, as well as the use of riveting in restoration.

Bridge Inventory Websites

National Bridges - This resource is unparalleled in usefulness, providing National Bridge Inventory data for every state in the Union! You can search a specific bridge and get data on it including bridge length and deck width. You can also use it to get an idea of where and how many of a particular structure type is in a county, or plan trips to visit historic bridges using this.

Historic Bridge Enthusiast Websites

Historic Bridges of the U.S. - Historic Bridges of the U.S. is one of the largest bridge websites on the Internet, and relies heavily on bridge photo contributions from viewers like you. Its covers numerous states and is rapidly expanding, but centers around its original coverage state of Missouri. Check out the unique suspension "swinging bridges" that were built in central Missouri at this page.

BridgeMapper - This map-focused website uses the Google Maps/Earth engine to map out the locations of historic bridges, with a focus on Pennsylvania, but covering many U.S. locations. Includes photos and information for each bridge. This is a great website to quickly plan a bridge trip without having to pour over the National Bridge Inventory.

Iron and Early Steel Bridges of Ohio - Statewide coverage is the name of the game on this very informative site, which reveals Ohio to still have a huge number of remaining truss bridges. Some of the bridges have yet to have their existence confirmed, which is where you can help.

Chicago Loop Bridges - Information, tours, and videos of Chicago's loop bridges.

John Weeks Bridge Coverage - This website has excellent narrative coverage of bridges in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area and on major rivers like the Mississippi River.

John Marvig Railroad Bridges - This website has good narrative coverage of railroad bridges in the upper Midwest.

Indiana's Historic Bridges - Indiana's Historic Bridges recounts some of the available stories about extant and by-gone Hoosier bridges, their designers and builders, and their promoters and protectors. The collection, which is periodically expanded, also addresses historically-sensitive repairs and restoration of our cultural heritage in spans.

Bridgehunter's Chronicles - A blog containing historic bridge related articles and discussions.

Structurae - This website provides data on bridges, along with another structures, with a focus on Europe.

Pittsburgh Bridges - This site has technical and historic information on most of Pittsburgh's largest bridges. It also has information for bridges in Pittsburgh that have been demolished.

Oklahoma Bridges - Offers an extensive photo-documentation of numerous truss bridges in Oklahoma. An impressive Pennsylvania Truss is in Oklahoma, as well as numerous unique "K" truss bridges, where are otherwise rare elsewhere.

King Bridge Company Museum - An excellent site with photos and documentation related to the King Bridge Company.

Highest Bridges in the World - An extensive website with information and photos on the highest bridges in the world, both historic and modern.

Bridges of Cincinnati - A good place to go for info and photos of bridges in this city.

A Span For All Seasons - Has some excellent historic photos, as well as a large library of historic suspension bridges.

BridgePix - This is an excellent website that is fun to poke around in if you are looking for nice bridge photos and bridge postcards.

Historic Movable Bridge Drawings - Contains very nicely done hand-drawn pictures of movable historic bridges. Additional drawings and information are available here.

Copper Country Explorer - While not specifically a bridge website, this website has a lot of discussions about bridges the copper region of Michigan's Upper Peninsula. In particular, the ruins of long-lost bridges are discussed.

Highway Enthusiast Websites

Michigan Highways - An extremely detailed informational history of Michigan's trunkline system. Learn about where different routes go, where they used to go, and how they were realigned and more.

Ontario Highways - Run by the same person as the above Michigan site, this provides detailed historical information about the King's Highway system in Ontario.

History of Ontario's King's Highways - This site has lots of photos, especially of bridges, for Kings Highways on Ontario.

OntHighways.com - A concise database of highways in Ontario.

Historical Highways Society of Ontario - The official website has various news and information on Ontario highways.

AARoads - A lot of good information and photos of the Interstate expressway system.

State-Ends - Photos of the end of state-owned highways, including Michigan highways.

The US Interstate Highway System and President Dwight Eisenhower - Jeanne Longhorne produced this article discussing the significance of the Interstate Highway System and also offers a series of links related to the system.

Government Owned Historic Bridge Websites

HABS HAER - Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) and the Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) is a place that people interested in bridges often may end up if researching historic bridges.

MDOT's Historic Bridge Website - Without this website, I probably would have never got my own historic bridge website going. This site has not been updated for a few years, but I have been told that an update is coming when the 2005 historic bridge inventory is completed.

Iowa Historic Bridges - This is perhaps the nicest government historic bridge website I have seen. Bridges are listed in a database, allowing you to search by county or bridge type. Photos are of a nice size, and maps are provided. This is great, because it allows to to filter out those pesky Madison County covered bridges and focus on Iowa's relatively large number of remaining bowstring truss bridges. They still have large 1870s through bowstring truss bridges left, which is amazing, compared to other states like Michigan and Pennsylvania. Check out Winneshiek County for its 1870s ornate through bowstring trusses, and Crawford County for its 1940s bowstrings which returned to the scene of bridge construction in that county as a result of WWII steel shortages.

Indiana Bridge Marketing Page - A INDOT managed website lists preserved bridges as well as ones that are in question or are available for others to preserve. The "Status Pending" and "Available" bridges are the ones to be worried about.

Ontario Heritage Properties Database - You can search this database and get a list of some of the historic bridges in Ontario. The type of page will not allow for a direct link to the bridge list, so here is how to get it. After clicking on the link, find the "Type of Recognition or Protection" drop-down menu. Towards the bottom of the drop-down is a choice labeled "Ontario Heritage Bridge List." Select that, and leave all other fields black and hit search.

Pennsylvania Bridge Marketing Page - PennDOT wrongly thinks that having a page like this justifies demolishing the bridges offered on this site if no one coughs up the $500,000+ you would need to rescue one of these bridges.

Colorado Historic Bridges - Historic bridge photos from the state listed by county, as downloadable Adobe Acrobat PDF files.

Alaska Bridge Inventory - This page has a link to a Adobe Acrobat PDF with a list of all bridges, including metal truss bridges, in the state.

Historic Bridge Reference Websites

Digital Bridges - This is a beautiful site filled with online versions of period books relating to historic bridges. Includes a catalog that would have been published by the the Wrought Iron Bridge Company to try to sell their bridges.

The Bridge Site - A ton of links are available at this site. When all the real truss bridges are gone, you may need to visit this site and download some bridge design software!

Bridges of Metropolitan Cleveland - An full online text of a book about Cleveland bridges.

Bridge Stock Photography at Foto Search

Historic Bridge Images and Graphics by Can Stock Photo

Historic Bridge Terminology - Taken from Waddell's famous 1916 Bridge Engineering

Railroad-Related Websites

Railroads are an excellent source of historic bridges, and due to the durability of railroad bridges, probably will be for some time. Here are some tools to aid you in your railroad quests.

RailPictures.Net - The largest railroad picture gallery I know of on the Internet. Well organized search feature. You can narrow a search by state, and can select other options, such as showing only pictures with bridges in them. This is a fun gallery to explore.

Railroad Data - An excellent, well organized railroad link library website. Lots of good bridge links.

Railfan Picture Gallery - Enjoy poking through train galleries like this one, since you can often find some cool railroad bridges to check out.

Michigan Railroads - A good source for information and historic photos for railways in Michigan.

RailServe - This includes an extensive library of links to railroad-related websites. There are enough links on this website to keep you occupied for a very long time!

JJ's Railroad Links - A huge, yet organized list of links for railroad related websites all over the place.

History of the Transcontinental Railroad - This webpage provides a brief overview of the Transcontinental Railroad, followed by an extensive collection of links to websites relating to the rich history of the Transcontinental Railroad.

Railroad Parts: History for Kids - Links and information about railroads geared toward a younger audience.

Connections To Historic Bridges

Top of the Heap - A children's book that features bridges as an important part of the story line.

Also, click here to view of list of non-bridge websites that sponsor HistoricBridges.org with a link.

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