This is a rare cast and wrought iron bowstring truss bridge. It was built by the Wrought Iron Bridge Company, as evidenced by the design details used by the company for its bowstrings. The bridge has a 1920 construction date listed which is of course incorrect, since bowstrings like this were mostly built in the 1870s. The 1920 date may be a total error, or it may indicate that the bridge was relocated to this site at that time.
This bridge has heavy deck stringers that replace or at least supplement the load-bearing function of the trusses. The bridge is frequently subjected to flood waters that are deteriorating and damaging the bridge. However, the bridge trusses are not beyond saving. Given the significance and rarity of bowstring truss bridges, this bridge's trusses should be considered for relocation and preservation in a new location, perhaps for pedestrian use.
Information and Findings From 2014 Assessment of Kentucky's Historic Truss Bridges By The Kentucky Transportation Center
Discussion of Bridge
Built in 1920 and rehabbed in 2007, this bridge is a Bowstring arch pony truss on a county road and is listed on the National Register under Criterion C. It may have been built by the Wrought Iron Bridge Company of Canton, Ohio prior than 1920. It is one of two Bowstring arch trusses remaining statewide. It was significantly altered when the county placed steel I-beams above the bottom chord and laid down a concrete deck, so that the truss no longer bears the load. In 2010 its ADT was 98 vehicles and is projected to increase to only 135 by 2026. The bridge is listed as not deficient but is probably functionally obsolete due to its narrow width- 12.1 feet, curb to curb. The operating rating is 12 tons and the inventory rating is 12 tons. It is posted for 12 tons. Mr. Brandon Seiter said the bridge can safely handle its current level of traffic.
Its sufficiency rating is 23.9, with an NBI condition rating for the deck of 7, for the superstructure a rating of 6, for the substructure a rating of 4, and for the channel and channel protection a rating of 7. The inspection report states that the truss no longer carries a load. Moreover, the bridge is in the backwater area of the Ohio River and its normal pool channel is only a few inches from the bottom of the structure at all times. According to a bridge inspection report, "the structural elements (abutments, deck soffit area, steel stringers, steel floor beams, joints etc.) could not be inspected." The inspector evaluated the I-beams that support the concrete deck and noted, "both exterior stringer elements have vertical welds located at mid span area, which is splicing steel members together."
Mr. Seiter said that the bottom of the bridge is under water most of the year and the bridge is scheduled for replacement in two years. In 2007, the county took the old deck off, laid down I-beams, and placed a concrete deck on the bridge. He stated that the bridge should be replaced as the bridge cannot handle emergency vehicles when another route into a nearby town is blocked by a train. He also said that the truss bridge cannot be reworked to carry a modern traffic load and the trusses can not be used as guardrails, as they do not meet contemporary crash standards. He was also concerned about the alignment of the bridge with a nearby tunnel.
Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: Yes
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