This bridge follows one of several different traditional Wrought Iron Bridge Company truss designs. This design features their narrow a-frame portal bracing and v-lacing on vertical members oriented parallel to the deck rather than perpendicular which is seem on most pin-connected Pratt through truss bridges. This is a relatively late example of the company's work, since they were absorbed into American Bridge Company in 1899. The bridge's truss web retains good overall historic integrity, with some alterations below the deck including welded plates and replaced floorbeams.
Information and Findings From New Jersey's Historic Bridge Inventory
Discussion of Bridge
SUMMARY: The pin-connected Pratt thru truss bridge is supported on ashlar abutments with wing walls. A noteworthy feature is the basket-like 4- pronged end on the hip vertical floorbeam hangers. The bottom chord is composed of loop forged eyebars with erection numbers. Minimal additions include plates welded to floor beams and diagonal top chord bracing. The bridge is significant because it is relatively unaltered, documented, in its historic context, and has distinctive design details.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: Hunterdon County
Engineer's Office, Bridge card D481.
PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: The single-span pin-connected Pratt thru-truss bridge is supported on random ashlar abutments with U-type wingwalls. The trusses appear to be original with the exception of the floor beams, stringers and deck that have been recently replaced, the addition of welded corner braces to the top laterals, and welded braces extending from the portal struts to the exterior floor beams. The trusses are pin-connected throughout. The portals and top chord consist of two channels, a cover plate and lacing. The intermediate verticals consist of two channels with lacing. The lacing on the verticals parallels the bridge centerline. The bottom chord eyebars and diagonal eyebars have forged eyes. The counters are provided with sleeve nuts for adjustment. The end panel vertical hanger has a fourprong, claw-like ends which engage the pins directly over and in line of the U-bolt floor beam hanger. Such an arrangement, also seen on King Bridge Company spans from the same era, means that the hangers are out of phase or reversed. The expansion bearings consist of nested rollers.
HISTORICAL AND TECHNOLOGICAL SIGNIFICANCE: The well preserved 1897 thru-truss bridge is a documented example of the work of the Wrought Iron Bridge Company of Canton, Ohio, one of the most prolific late-19th century bridge fabricating concerns in the country. In addition to its historical association with the WIBC, the span exhibits unusual details, including the "crows foot" vertical hanger detail and the reversed vertical hangers . A good representative example of an important 19th-century bridge type (criterion C), the span enjoys integrity of setting and is located in its original industrial context adjacent to a water-powered saw mill. The saw mill, which is still in operation, is known to have been owned by Enoch Danbury before 1891. Thus the bridge embodies both integrity of design and setting. The Wrought Iron Bridge Company (WIBC) was organized in 1866 by David Hammond and incorporated in 1871. It is one of the three Ohio bridge companies that stand out for their designs and technological contributions to bridge engineering (Simmons, p. 15). The company distributed, through a network of regional agents who submitted both design and price to the Freeholders, a variety of truss types from the bowstring truss through the Pratt truss. Many of their notable details were castings to join various members of the truss. WIBC was absorbed by the American Bridge Company in 1899.
Boundary Description and Justification: The bridge is located next to a potentially historic saw mill, but the span is distinguished on its own merits. The history of the two structures appears to be independent. The significant boundary of this resource is limited to the substructure and superstructure.
Discussion of Surrounding Area
The bridge carries one lane of a quiet rural road over a minor stream in an unspoiled wooded setting. An operating lumber mill is adjacent to the bridge, and the remains of a dam and raceway are nearby. The bridge enjoys integrity of setting.
Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: Yes
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