This bridge is one of two concrete arch bridges on Morrow County highways. This is the shorter of the two, but the railings on this bridge are in better condition. The railings are somewhat of a mystery. At first glance,
it appears that the original abutment railing panels, and original railing posts remain on the bridge with modern Armco guardrail added in between the posts, with balustrades between the railings having been removed. However upon closer
examination, it is not apparent that any balusters were on the bridge. In between the railing posts there is what looks like a tall curb with square shapes on top. The squares are where one might expect the balusters were, however the
squares do not look saw cut, nor do they look like something was broken off. Were there ever balusters on this bridge? On top of the railing posts there is a notch. Perhaps instead of balusters there once was a simple horizontal concrete
beam that spans between the posts, resting in the notch.
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.
The 2-span, 119'-long, reinforced-concrete arch bridge has beam guide rails replacing the original concrete balustrades. The original blocky, incised-panel end posts remain over the wingwalls.
Concrete balustrades removed, ca. 1975.
Summary of Significance
The arch bridge built in 1924 has no unusual or distinctive features. It is an altered example of a common bridge type from the first half of the 20th century. Earlier, more complete and/or aesthetically
distinguished examples better represent the significance of the technology. The not eligible recommendation of the prior inventory remains appropriate.
The 2007-08 ODOT Historic Bridge Inventory Update (Phase 1A) has
identified more than 225 extant, reinforced-concrete, closed-spandrel arch bridges dating from 1896 to 1959. Fewer than 30 examples date to before 1910. These tend to represent innovative technology or early attempts at exploring
the aesthetic qualities of the moldable material; earlier examples tend to have higher historical and technological significance than the later examples. Use of the reinforced-concrete, closed-spandrel arch technology reached its
height during the 1910s and 1920s with more than 80% of Ohio's surviving examples dating from those two decades. The later examples generally do not represent innovative technology, although they sometimes have high aesthetic merit
or significant settings/contexts.
"Closed spandrel arch bridges are the most basic of reinforced concrete bridge types. Closed spandrel means that the area between the deck and the arch ring was filled in. The spandrel wall
actually serves as a retaining wall in the bridge, holding the fill material. Live loads are borne by the fill material and by the spandrel walls. The arch may be constructed either as a single structural element (barrel) or in
separate parallel longitudinal ribs. The barrel arch design has some structural and visual similarities to stone arch bridges. The barrel arch is also sometimes faced with brick or stone, making it appear similar to a masonry arch
bridge. This type of bridge is suitable for short span lengths. Closed spandrel concrete arches predate open spandrels, as the closed spandrel type harkens back to the stone arches that the earliest forms imitated. This type was not
built for long as engineers realized that significant material could be saved and a reduction in weight could be achieved by eliminating the filled section. Hence, open spandrels were born. Filled spandrel concrete arches date
primarily from the earliest decades of reinforced concrete (1890s through 1920s). They are not as common as many of the standardized bridge types built during this same era, such as concrete slabs and girders. They are significant
because they are not common and represent the evolution of concrete technology. To be considered significant, filled spandrel arches should have integrity, through the retention of their character-defining features: arch ring,
barrel, spandrel wall, railing or parapet, end posts, piers and/or abutments and wingwalls." [From: A Context for Common Historic Bridge Types by Parsons Brinckerhoff, October 2005]
Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: No
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