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1920 was the construction date given for this bridge in the National Bridge Inventory. However this was clearly incorrect given the style of the bridge which was not built in the 1920s. A local organization called Historic Ithaca did some research to solve the mystery of this bridge. A bridge at this location dating to 1887 was destroyed in a 1922 flood, and the 1882 Sherwood Mills Bridge that had been sitting approximately 1 to 2 miles upstream was moved to Freese Road as a replacement. As such, the existing Freese Road Bridge dates to 1882 with a ca. 1922 relocation.
This is one of two bridges in the county that feature an extremely rare continuous two-span design. Nearly all pin-connected truss bridges were built as simple spans. This bridge acts as one single span, with a pier in the middle, forming the continuous design. This design alone makes this bridge one of the more important bridges in New York.
Fortunately this bridge has been well-maintained. Hopefully this will continue to be the case, since this is such a significant structure, and the other similar structure in the county is threatened with demolition.
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