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Freese Road Bridge

Varna Bridge

Freese Road Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: May 28, 2007

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Freese Road Over Fall Creek
Varna: Tompkins County, New York: United States
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1882 By Builder/Contractor: Groton Bridge Company of Groton, New York

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Main Span Length
80 Feet (24.3 Meters)
Structure Length
166 Feet (50.5 Meters)
Roadway Width
12.8 Feet (3.9 Meters)
2 Main Span(s)
NBI Number

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)
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Bridge Documentation

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

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.


Photo Galleries and Videos: Freese Road Bridge

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Maps and Links: Freese Road Bridge

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