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TR-251 Bridge

TR-251 Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth and Rick McOmber

Bridge Documented: June 24, 2007

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Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
TR-251 Over Outlet Ditch
Location
Rural: Hancock County, Ohio: United States
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
By Builder/Contractor: Wrought Iron Bridge Company of Canton, Ohio
Rehabilitation Date
Not Available or Not Applicable
Main Span Length
42.0 Feet (12.8 Meters)
Structure Length
45.0 Feet (13.7 Meters)
Roadway Width
16.4 Feet (5 Meters)
Spans
1 Main Span(s)
Inventory Number
3235114

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)
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Bridge Documentation

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

This four panel structure was likely built by the Wrought Iron Bridge Company, because it features the unusual threaded rod with nut detail at the end posts that act as connections for the bottom chord and diagonal members. In addition, the overall style (latticed vertical members, etc) is similar to other bridges that are officially documented with the company.

This bridge is similar to the nearby 245 bridge

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.

Physical Description

The 1 span, 45'-long, pin-connected Pratt thru truss bridge is traditionally composed of built-up compression members and eyebar tension members. It has the cast connecting pieces at the end posts typical of Wrought Iron Bridge Co. truss bridges.

Integrity

Railings replaced.

Summary of Significance

The ca. 1880 Pratt pony truss is technologically significant. The design, with its distinctive upper chord panel point connection details, is characteristic of Wrought Iron Bridge Co. (WIBCo) Pratt pony trusses dating from the mid 1870s to early 1890s. The design is described as "very popular" and having been built widely in an 1881 WIBCo catalogue. It is 1 of at least 13 very similar examples dating from 1874 to the early 1890s.

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design of the last quarter of the 19th century and continued to be built into the 20th century, although eventually superseded in popularity by Warren trusses. The design, which initially was a combination of wood compression and iron tension members, was patented in 1844 by Thomas & Caleb Pratt. Ohio has three covered bridges that use this combination configuration, but they are all modern reconstructions based on the Pratt patent. 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'. Significant surviving examples of all-metal Pratt trusses mostly date to the last quarter of the 19th century, and they are found with thru, pony, and the less common bedstead configuration. Prior to about 1890, a variety of panel point connections were in widespread use (including bolts, cast-iron pieces, and pins), but engineering opinion was coalescing around pins as the most efficient and constructible. 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. Later post-1890 Pratt trusses show a progression toward less variation in their details such that by 1900 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 waning and eclipsed in the highway bridge market by more rigid, rivet-connected truss designs, particularly the Warren but also riveted Pratts. The transition to riveted connections, which happened even earlier with railroads than highways, was in no small part due to concerns about stress reversals at the pins under heavier loads and improvements in pneumatic field riveting equipment in the early 1900s. In Ohio, Pratt truss highway bridges, whether pinned or riveted, were almost always built under the auspices of counties and local units of government; the Pratt was not a standard design of the state highway department.

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 1900 and have documented or attributed builders and dates of construction and/or significant connection or member details. Later post-1900 examples are less technologically significant. Significant unaltered examples of riveted-connected Pratt trusses date from ca. 1900 to 1915.

Justification

The bridge is one of over 150 extant pin-connected truss bridges dating from 1874 for pony trusses and 1876 for thru trusses. Twenty six predate 1888 and represent the era of experimentation that evolved into standardized designs by about 1888. This example has moderate significance because the genre and the fabricator are so well represented in Ohio.

Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: Yes

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Photo Galleries and Videos: TR-251 Bridge

 

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Maps and Links: TR-251 Bridge

Coordinates (Latitude, Longitude):

Search For Additional Bridge Listings:

Bridgehunter.com: View listed bridges within 0.5 miles (0.8 kilometers) of this bridge.

Bridgehunter.com: View listed bridges within 10 miles (16 kilometers) of this bridge.

HistoricBridges.org Bridge Browser: View listed bridges within 0.5 miles (0.8 kilometers) of this bridge.

HistoricBridges.org Bridge Browser: View listed bridges within 10 miles (16 kilometers) of this bridge.

2021 National Bridge Inventory: View listed bridges within 0.5 miles (0.8 kilometers) of this bridge.

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