This bridge is an extremely rare and important bridge. It is a bridge built by the famous Berlin Iron Bridge Company of East Berlin, Connecticut. What is interesting about the historic significance and rarity of this bridge is the following: because this bridge has a more common truss configuration than it might have had, it is very important. That is because its builder almost exclusively built lenticular truss bridges during the period in which the Town Bridge Road Bridge was built. Lenticular truss bridges are a very rare and distinctive type of truss configuration that is very significant. However, as a more common truss type, the Parker truss, the Town Bridge Road Bridge is also extremely significant for being a Berlin Iron Bridge structure that is anything other than a lenticular bridge. It is interesting to draw comparisons to the lenticular truss bridges to learn more about the Berlin Iron Bridge Company. Even though this bridge is a Parker truss, it still has some of the details seen on the company's lenticular truss bridges, including the company's distinctive ornate railings, decoration (cresting) on the portal bracing, and decorative finials.
Information and Findings From Connecticut's Historic Bridge Management Plan
Discussion of Bridge
BRIDGE NO. 5222: Town Bridge Road over Farmington River, Canton
Description: 1895, wrought-iron Parker through truss, 1 span, pin connected; built by Berlin Iron Bridge Co.; extensive portal ornament (cresting and finials).
Similar Structures in Preservation Plan: none
Historical Significance: Besides being one of the few 19th-centurywrought-iron trusses to survive in the state, it exhibits the range of work undertaken by Berlin Iron Bridge Co., beyond the lenticular trusses for which the firm is famous.
General Considerations: The town has recently rehabilitated the bridge, including installation of a new corrugated-deck floor system, the patching of numerous members, and attachment of new W-rail roadway barriers inside the truss webs. Apparently, therefore, the archaic width and alignment, and the vertical clearance of less than 13', are not considered to be serious problems for the crossing. Nearby alternate crossings are available both upstream and downstream.
Structural Rehabilitation: Continued welding of patch plates will eventually compromise the historic integrity and appearance of the bridge. Replacement of members with like components in steel should be considered if load capacity becomes a concern; again, extensive replacement would compromise the historic integrity.
Bypass: The lack of nearby buildings would appear to make this a viable option.
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