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This bridge was apparently closed for some time, had minor repairs made, and was reopened to traffic. However, closure or demolition continues to a major concern for this extremely beautiful and significant historic bridge. Located on a non-essential road with a steep grade that keeps trucks off of it, restoration of this bridge for light vehicular traffic makes sense. A restored Dean Road Bridge could continue to carry the light residential traffic that uses this road.
The Dean Road Bridge is significant as an impressive example of an uncommon truss design, the Whipple. The bridge also features unusual portal knee bracing that makes the bridge both unique and beautiful. Perhaps the most unusual feature of the bridge is the fact that while the truss bridge is not inclined, the deck is. Thus, there is more vertical clearance at the north portal than the south portal. Looking at the bridge's elevation, one can clearly see the inclined deck. This makes the Dean Road Bridge particularly rare. The Dean Road Bridge appears to retain good historic integrity. Although modern railings have been added, original pole railings remain on the bridge.
Rod Knight contacted HistoricBridges.org and offered the following additional information about the bridge:
I would like to point out a very special (maybe unique) feature of this bridge, in addition to all of the structural features that make it notable, and that is that the bridge does not span the entire riverbed, but only the river itself, which hugs the cliff at the south side of the riverbed. Traveling north, one enters the bridge from this cliff and travels slightly downhill as described. Exiting the bridge, the road drops precipitously down a landfill ramp to the riverbed, and then, only after traversing the riverbed, climbs steeply back up the north bank to the other side.
At one time in danger of demolition and replacement, Lorain County and Erie County finally decided to rehabilitate and preserve this unique and beautiful historic bridge. It is a decision they will not regret and can be proud of. These counties deserve to be thanked for canceling demolition plans and instead preserving this bridge.
Above: Rehabilitated bridge. Photo Credit: Marc Scotti
Information and Findings From Ohio's Historic Bridge Inventory
The bridge carries a 2 lane road over a stream in a sparsely developed, wooded setting.
The 1 span, 176'-long, pin-connected, double-intersection Pratt through truss bridge has built-up compression members and eyebar tension members. It has lattice portal bracing with arched, latticed brackets. The floorbeams are connected to the verticals well above the lower-chord pins. There are knee braces from the lower chord pins to the floorbeams -- an unusual detail.
Summary of Significance
The 1898 Dean Road Bridge is NR listed (1978). This
is a later example of its type/design (Whipple trusses were most popular
in the 1870s-1880s) but it has some interesting details and was
fabricated by a prominent Ohio bridge company. There has been no
significant change in the bridge's status since the prior inventory.
There are 13 examples of the bridge type important to the development and maturation of the pin-connected thru truss bridge. They date from 1881 and concentrated in the 1880s. Even though there are more than 12 extant examples in Ohio, each built in the 1880s has high significance based on overall scarcity (everywhere but in Ohio) of the design. This is a major and technologically significant bridge type. The bridge has moderate significance because it is a later example of the type/design.
Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: Yes
This bridge is tagged with the following special condition(s): Unorganized Photos
Coordinates (Latitude, Longitude):
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