This bridge is a small pony truss with a notable skew to it. Pin-connected truss bridges with a skew are in general in common although more than one example remains in Morrow County. This bridge was repaired, receiving a
new timber deck. Also, supplemental rods were bolted to the vertical members. The work looked very recent in 2012, and the timber was dated 2010-2011.
The supplemental rods added to the bridge did not extensively alter the bridge, since the original vertical members remain in place alongside the rods. The alteration is also reversible, which means it could be
removed at a later date. The only irreversible aspect of these rods is that holes were drilled in the cover plate. The supplemental rods added to the bridge would have been an inexpensive way to avoid demolition and replacement and increase
the service life of the bridge. However this type of repair did not improve the condition of any of the original bridge material. If additional money becomes available, Morrow County could rehabilitate the bridge by repairing the original
bridge material. This bridge could likely be rehabilitated to like-new condition for much less than it would cost to demolish and replace the bridge.
The Historic Bridge Inventory states that the floorbeams on this bridge are not original. This being the case, it should be noted that the floorbeams on the bridge are historically correct, since they are American Standard
Beams, not modern wide flange beams. Thus, unless this bridge originally had built-up floor beams (unlikely) the floorbeams seen today could be described as an in-kind replacement that maintains the historic integrity of the bridge.
Information and Findings From Ohio's Historic Bridge
The bridge carries a 2 lane road over a stream in a rural area of active farms. Bridge is posted for 6 tons.
The 1 span, 46'-long, pin-connected Pratt pony truss bridge is supported on ashlar abutments strengthened with sheet piling. The truss lines are traditionally composed with built-up compression members and eyebar
tension members. Field splices are bolted. The floorbeams are not original.
Summary of Significance
The ca. 1888 pin connected Pratt thru truss is attributed to the Massillon Bridge Co. The company sold many metal truss bridges to the county with the oldest extant example of their work dating to 1883. The
bridge is also one of 24 examples of the important bridge type in Morrow County with the oldest extant example dating to 1876. It is the earlier examples that are technologically significant. This example represents what by
about 1888 had become their standardized design, and it is well represented in the county. The bridge is not technologically significant.
Massillon Iron Bridge Company is believed to have been established by Joseph Davenport
about 1869 to market his all-iron Howe truss bridges. It was incorporated as the Massillon Bridge Company in 1873. Davenport left the firm in 1875, but it went on to become one of the several successful and prolific metal truss
bridge fabricators in the region selling standard-design, pin-connected bridges to counties throughout the Midwest. In 1903, Toledo interests gained control of the company, and it was moved to Toledo and restyled the
Toledo-Massillon Bridge Company. The business was moved back to Massillon in 1909, and they manufactured ships during World War I. It was acquired by the Fort Pitt Bridge Company of Pittsburgh in 1930 or 1933. The works closed in
1943. There are over 25 Massillon Bridge Co. truss bridges remaining in Ohio (2009) with the largest concentration in Morrow County.
Pratt trusses were undoubtedly the most popular truss design of the last quarter of the
19th century and continued to be built into the 20th century. The design, which initially was a combination of wood compression and iron tension members, was patented in 1844 by Thomas & Caleb Pratt. The great advantage of the Pratt
over other designs was the relative ease of calculating the distribution of stresses. More significantly, it translated well into an all-metal design in lengths of less than 200'. Prior to about 1890, a variety of panel point
connections (including bolts, cast-iron pieces, and pins), end panel floorbeam connections, and lower chord designs were in widespread use. Many of the connection details were proprietary and associated with individual builders or
companies, and thus earlier examples are generally taken to be technologically significant in showing the evolution of the design. Post-1885 Pratt trusses show a progression toward less variation in their details such that by 1895
the design was quite formulaic with few significant differences between the designs of various builders. This marked the end of the pin-connected Pratt's technological evolution and, in fact, it was soon eclipsed in the highway
bridge market by more rigid, rivet-connected truss designs, particularly the Warren design, but also the Pratt design as well. In Ohio, there are 185 Pratt trusses dating from ca. 1874 to 1945 with at least 60 dating prior to 1900
(Phase 1A, 2008). The technologically significant unaltered examples of pin-connected Pratt trusses for the most part date prior to 1885 and have documented or attributed builders and dates of construction and/or significant
connection or member details. Post-1895 examples are less technologically significant.
Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: No
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