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Garners Ford Bridge

Garners Ford Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth and Rick McOmber

Bridge Documented: June 7, 2014

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Garners Ford Road (CR-37) Over Raccoon Creek
Rural: Gallia County, Ohio: United States
Structure Type
Metal 7 Panel Pin-Connected Pratt Through Truss, Fixed and Approach Spans: Metal Stringer (Multi-Beam), Fixed
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
By Builder/Contractor: Unknown

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Main Span Length
137 Feet (41.8 Meters)
Structure Length
182 Feet (55.5 Meters)
Roadway Width
16 Feet (4.88 Meters)
1 Main Span(s) and 3 Approach Span(s)
NBI Number

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)
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Bridge Documentation

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

This 1880s-1890s style bridge had an obviously incorrect 1965 construction date listed in the National Bridge Inventory. For this reason it was apparently not even noticed by the Historic Bridge Inventory, let alone surveyed. Sometimes a bad NBI date is suggestive of a relocation date where a truss was moved and reused. However this bridge sits on very old stone substructure, so its unclear if that is really what happened here. The date could be a complete error, or may reference a rehabilitation, such as replacement of stringers.

This bridge appears as though it may have been built by the Smith Bridge Company of Toledo, Ohio. However, its not the sort of exact match in terms of design details that would make a bridge historian 100% comfortable with that statement. The bridge has details similar to other Smith Bridge Company details but there are some inconsistencies. For example, the style of the portal bracing in terms of lattice and angle positioning is typical for a Smith Bridge Company Bridge. However, the top of the portal bracing lines up with the cover plate of the top chord. Most Smith Bridge Company bridges had a portal bracing that was positioned lower than the top chord. Another item found on many Smith Bridge Company bridges is a unique decorative cast iron spindle that terminates the portal bracing knees along the end post. These are not present. Next, the struts (sway braces) of the bridge, with their unusual lattice design are dissimilar to those found on many pin-connected thru trusses by any bridge builder. They are also dissimilar to those found on most Pratt through trusses built by the Smith Bridge Company. However, they are strikingly similar to those found on a large Whipple truss bridge at Higginsport built by the Smith Bridge Company. The bridge also lacks the unusual cast iron shoes found on some Smith Bridge Company bridges. The conclusion is as follows. There are enough similarities to other Smith Bridge Company bridges, and further given that this is a bridge in Ohio, it seems likely that the Smith Bridge Company built this bridge. However the evidence is not indisputable, like it was with the Higginsport Bridge.

The bridge in 2014 was open to traffic with a posted 1 (one) ton weight limit... which is almost unheard of, since three tons is usually the lowest posting found on bridges in the United States.


Photo Galleries and Videos: Garners Ford Bridge

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Maps and Links: Garners Ford Bridge

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