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East Hope Bridge

East Hope Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: August 22, 2014

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Wellington Place Over Strong Creek
Location
East Hope: Bonner County, Idaho: United States
Structure Type
Concrete T-Beam, Fixed
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1924 By Builder/Contractor: Unknown

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
1974
Main Span Length
31 Feet (9.4 Meters)
Structure Length
31 Feet (9.4 Meters)
Roadway Width
28 Feet (8.53 Meters)
Spans
1 Main Span(s)
NBI Number
19080

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)
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Bridge Documentation

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

This is a little bridge but it has some unusual details. The exact history is not documented, but the design of the bridge helps suggest the most likely story. Essentially, the bridge is a concrete t-beam bridge (reportedly built in 1924) which was widened at some later date on each side by adding two steel beams on each side. The alteration is actually the most interesting part of the bridge. These steel beams are very unusual... they are heavy duty beams spaced very closely together, and they have an unusual riveted curb integrated into them which rises above the roadway. Underneath, the interior beams have what appear to be diaphragms that have been cut, suggesting the beams were reused from some other stringer bridge, and to separate the steel beams into two pairs, the diaphragms had to be cut. These added beams also added a sidewalk to the north side. The sidewalk rests on riveted cantilevers attached to the steel beam. The cantilevers however appear to have been lengthened since welded plate has been added to the ends of the riveted cantilevers. The bridge is skewed, and apparently to accommodate this, the sidewalk is supported at one end with an unusual, lightweight built-up steel beam with v-lacing.

So the question is what explains the unusual beams that were added to the bridge? The most likely scenario seems to be that the beams are salvaged from a railroad stringer (multi-beam) bridge. Railroad origin explains most of the unusual details. Railroad use would explain why the beams are so heavy and spaced closely together. Railroad bridges typically have extremely heavy-duty construction. Railroad origin also may explain the unusual riveted curb. The curb may have been to contain a ballasted deck for a railroad. A ballasted deck is one that is filled with gravel, upon which the tracks are laid. The sidewalk is also explained by railroad origins. A railroad bridge would often have a single, very narrow, sidewalk for workers to get across or access the bridge. The sidewalk would often be narrower than a typical public highway bridge sidewalk, which would explain why when the beams were reused the sidewalk cantilevers had additional plate welded to them to allow for a wider sidewalk. As for the v-laced beam that supports the sidewalk at one end, it is not certain where it came from. However riveted beams like this were common on the railroad, ranging from truss bridge bracing, steel bents, to signal supports, so even this beam might have come from a railroad. The pipe railings which are found on the sidewalk are also the sort of thing that would be common on a railroad access sidewalk, so the railings may have come with the beams when they were salvaged.

The National Bridge Inventory gives a rehabilitation date of 1974 for this bridge. It is possible this refers to when the beams were added.

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Photo Galleries and Videos: East Hope Bridge

 
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