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Commercial Point Road Bridge

Red River Bridge

Commercial Point Road Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth and Rick McOmber

Bridge Documented: March 2, 2007

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Commercial Point Road Over Scioto River
Location
Rural: Pickaway County, Ohio: United States
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1913 By Builder/Contractor: Oregonia Bridge Company of Lebanon, Ohio

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
1983
Main Span Length
233 Feet (71.02 Meters)
Structure Length
710 Feet (216.41 Meters)
Roadway Width
17.4 Feet (5.3 Meters)
Spans
3 Main Span(s)
NBI Number
6533159

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)

Bridge Documentation

This bridge no longer exists!

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

This extremely rare historic bridge was demolished September 7, 2010 by Pickaway County Engineer.

This bridge is one of the most impressive examples of pin-connected construction in the state of Ohio, due to its long, multi-span configurations. Even just one of this bridge's three spans is an impressive structure in its own right, with each span around 236 feet in length and composed of thirteen panels. This bridge is a relatively late example of pin-connected technology, with a 1913 construction date, however is historically significant for its long, multi-span configuration and impressive Camelback truss configuration. The bridge features a lattice portal bracing. Lattice is also present on the underside of the top chord and end posts. There is v-lacing on the verticals and the sway bracing. This, along with its length combine to make an attractive structure that offers a magnificent "tunnel effect" when crossed. The bridge also retains its builder plaques. The bridge features unusual concrete abutments that have lines carved in them to give them the appearance of stone blocks.

This bridge however was demolished and replaced by Pickaway County in 2008. This is a poor course of action, since as evidenced by a school bus crossing the structure, it is in relatively good condition and could be restored. With an alternate non-restricted crossing two miles south of this bridge, trucks have only a short detour, a small price to pay to keep this invaluable structure around for future generations to enjoy. As a long structure, this is a bridge that is not only visually impressive, it is historically significant as well. Commercial Point Road is not an essential through route, and is simply a shortcut for locals trying to get around, a purpose that the truss bridge could continue to serve if restored. If sight distance is a concern for this long bridge, a stoplight could be installed to direct traffic automatically. 

The demolition of this structure marks the loss of a beautiful and significant part of Ohio's rich transportation heritage. It also will mark yet another example of how the weak laws in the United States designed to protect historic bridge lack teeth and do not effectively protect historic bridges. Not only is this a very important bridge, it is not even in all that bad of shape, compared to many truss bridges. It is a bridge that deserves to be rehabilitated.

Information and Findings From Ohio's Historic Bridge Inventory

Setting/Context

The bridge carries a 2 lane road over a stream in a rural area of active farms. At the west end of the bridge are woods and fields. At the east end of the bridge are a hazardous waste site and scattered 20th-century residences.

Physical Description

The 3 span, 710'-long, pin-connected Camelback thru truss bridge is traditionally composed of built-up compression members and eyebar tension members. It is supported on concrete abutments and piers.

Integrity

Rehabilitated, 1984. Floorbeams strengthened with coverplate. Deck replaced.

Summary of Significance

The 1914 Camelback thru truss bridge built by the Oregonia Bridge Co. is a complete and long-span example of its type/design. The 1983-84 rehabilitation project did not result in an adverse effect. The eligible recommendation of the prior inventory remains appropriate.

Camelback and Parker trusses are members of the Pratt-family of trusses with sloped top chords Technologically, Camelback and Parker trusses differ only in the number of top chord slopes (Camelbacks have exactly five slopes, and Parkers have more than five slopes.) The sloped-chord trusses provide the greatest depth at midspan where it is needed to accommodate the stresses, meaning that less material is needed in their construction as compared to a parallel chord truss of similar span, but fabrication is made more difficult due to the varying lengths of the members. The sloped-chord trusses are often associated with longer spans where the savings in material is great enough to be worth the additional fabrication costs. The practice of sloping the top chords dates to at least the 1840s and appeared early in the development of metal trusses. As with other truss designs, pin connections were used from the 1870s to 1900s, and mostly phased out during the 1910s. Rivet connections were being used by the early 1900s and were prevalent from the 1910s to 1940s. Standardized rivet-connected Camelback and Parker designs were used by many state highway departments, including the Ohio State Highway Department. There are 23 trusses (8 Camelback, 15 Parker) in the Ohio inventory (Phase 1A, 2008).

Justification

The pin connected thru truss bridge is one of 13 extant examples of bridges with polygonal upper chords and/or subdivided panels in the state that date from 1888 until 1923. It is of moderate significance given that the numbers in the population.

Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: Yes

View PDF Historic Bridge Inventory Sheet

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Photo Galleries and Videos: Commercial Point Road Bridge

 
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