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Pruitt Bridge

Pruitt Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: November 14, 2016

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
AR-7 Over Buffalo River
Location
Rural: Newton County, Arkansas: United States
Structure Type
Metal 16 Panel Rivet-Connected Pennsylvania Through Truss, Fixed and Approach Spans: Metal 8 Panel Rivet-Connected Warren Pony Truss, Fixed
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1931 By Builder/Contractor: Virginia Bridge and Iron Company of Roanoke, Virginia and Engineer/Design: Arkansas State Highway Commission

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Not Available or Not Applicable
Main Span Length
160 Feet (48.77 Meters)
Structure Length
375.3 Feet (114.39 Meters)
Roadway Width
20 Feet (6.1 Meters)
Spans
1 Main Span(s) and 3 Approach Span(s)
NBI Number
1689

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)

Bridge Documentation

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View Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) Documentation For This Bridge

HAER Data Pages, PDF

View Original Drawings For This Historic Bridge

This is a truly unique bridge, with no other similar bridge known to exist. The three span truss bridge consists of what is essentially a pony truss span at each end with a through truss center span. The shape of the trusses gives the bridge a continuous of cantilever appearance. However, the bridge functions as simple truss spans, and the unusually shaped trusses were apparently only built as such to facilitate construction. Looking at the bridge at the ends of the through truss there is a pin, and also empty rivet holes, both at the pin connection and on the adjacent vertical. HAER documentation indicates this bridge was built as a thru truss using cantilever method, with the detail at the pin-connection functioning as a rigid riveted connection enabling construction of the main span via cantilever method thereby avoiding falsework. Afterwards, the riveted connection was removed (explains the empty rivet holes), the pin connection retained, so now the bridge functions as three simple truss spans. Thus, the bridge is not continuous, nor is it a cantilever truss. HAER docs note the bridge was designed by engineers in a single day. If this is true, it seems appropriate to assume this fast turnaround time was made possible because there must have been a state standard Pennsylvania truss and maybe Warren pony truss plan that the engineers must have adapted into this unique design.

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