Although it has lost its original railings, this bridge remains a notable concrete arch bridge.
Information and Findings From Ohio's Historic Bridge Inventory
The bridge carries a four lane street and sidewalks over the Sandusky River in downtown Fremont.
The 5 span, 448'-long, reinforced-concrete arch bridge was built in 1926 and rehabilitated in 1981. The original railings were replaced with concrete parapets with tubular handrails. Concrete repairs were made to the arches. The arches have incised-panel spandrels and horizontally scored bullnosed piers. The arch rings have shadow lines for accent.
Railing and deck replacement in 1981.
Summary of Significance
"The 1926 arch bridge is a nicely detailed example of its type/design, although very much within the formulaic approach of the period as applied by engineers in the state bridge bureau. The eligible recommendation 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]"
Because of the early emphasis on aesthetics at the local and state levels, Ohio has an impressive assemblage of long and shorter open spandrel arch bridges dating from 1907 through World War II. Twenty-three of the 25 predate World War II. This example has moderate significance.
Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: Yes
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