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Fudge Road Bridge

TR-347 Bridge

Fudge Road Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: May 7, 2006

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Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Fudge Road (TR-347) Over Aukerman Creek
Rural: Preble County, Ohio: United States
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1913 By Builder/Contractor: Central States Bridge Company of Indianapolis, Indiana
Rehabilitation Date
Not Available or Not Applicable
Main Span Length
86.0 Feet (26.2 Meters)
Structure Length
91.0 Feet (27.7 Meters)
Roadway Width
15.7 Feet (4.79 Meters)
1 Main Span(s)
Inventory Number

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)
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Bridge Documentation

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

In general, half-hip Pratt pony truss bridges tend to be smaller, while full-slope Pratt pony trusses are larger. This half-hip pony truss, with a length exceeding 80 feet, would be long for a full-slope pin-connected pony truss. Pin-connected pony trusses are usually under 80 feet in length. As a result of its span length, the trusses of this bridge are quite deep, and the top chord and end posts are fairly massive. The bridge retains original lattice railings. V-lacing is present on the vertical members and under the top chord and end posts. Cambria steel stampings were found as well as Eastern steel stamps. The bridge also retains a jack-arch deck, a type of deck common during the time this bridge was built but of which few examples remain today. A jack-arch deck consists of what looks like half of a corrugated steel culvert spanning each deck stringer. The concrete was poured on top of the corrugated steel as well as the deck beams to form the deck and riding surface. It is likely that few of these decks survive because the corrugated steel would rust and fall out, and the concrete would start breaking up afterward. Plus, decks are a common thing to replace on a bridge, as they tend to wear out quickly. Since the materials used to make a jack arch deck are still around, it would be interesting to see this bridge rehabilitated, with a new jack arch deck.

This bridge was noted to have both Cambria and Eastern brands on its steel.

Information and Findings From Ohio's Historic Bridge Inventory


The bridge carries a 2 lane road over a stream in a sparsely developed, rural setting.

Physical Description

The 1 span, 91'-long, pin-connected Pratt pony truss bridge is traditionally composed of built-up compression members and eyebar tension members. It has lattice railings and a concrete jack arch deck.

Summary of Significance

The 1913 pin-connected Pratt pony truss bridge is a late example of a bridge type/design in use from the 1880s to 1910s, but it is among the earlier surviving examples of jack arch decks. Jack arch decks were in use from about 1905 to the 1930s. It was recommended as select in the first inventory, but the it is an example of a standard design and has no innovative or distinctive details. Jack arch decks were used for bridges and for building flooring systems (first in bridge and then in concrete) since the late 19th century. In comparison with the population of metal truss bridges in Ohio, this example is not historically or technologically significant. It does not stand out in the statewide or even regional population. There are 94 earlier examples. The bridge is recommended as not eligible.

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 starting in the early 1900s.

Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: No


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

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