This bridge is a highly attractive, traditionally composed
arch bridge. It retains original, unaltered railings. The bridge shows
evidence of minor to moderate spalling. The time to preserve this bridge is
now before structural and historic integrity is lost due to spalling. This
is a preservation feasible and worthy structure in a county with relatively
few historic bridges. The bridge is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Information and Findings From Ohio's Historic Bridge
The bridge carries a 2 lane street over a stream in Elmore.
The 3 span, 282'-long, reinforced-concrete arch bridge is finished with concrete balustrades. There are plain pilasters at the piers and the spandrel walls are plainly finished except for a series of widely
spaced dentils that repeat the pattern of the balustrade posts. There is loss of fabric from spalling in the balustrades, spandrels, arch rings, and substructure.
Loss of original fabric from spalling.
Summary of Significance
The 1926 arch bridge is NR-listed (1994). Although somewhat formulaic in its aesthetic details, it is one of the first significant arch bridges attributable to D. H. Overman, who would go on to become the state
highway department's arch expert and head design engineer. As such, the bridge marks the start of a distinguished career with the state highway department.
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]
The bridge is one of over 210 extant examples built in the state starting in 1897. It was during the first decade of the 20th century that the bridge type gained currency, and in Ohio the golden age of reinforced
concrete arches was the two decades following World War I when over 140 of the remaining examples were constructed by cities, counties, and the bridge division of the state highway department under the leadership of J.R. Burkey and
D. H. Overman.
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Maps and Links: Elmore Bridge
This historic bridge has been demolished. This map is shown for reference purposes only.