It is hard not to notice the Big Four Bridge while you are at this bridge. The massive railroad bridge and this delicate highway through truss make for a very nice contrast between beautiful historic bridges of totally different types.
The Gearhart Road Bridge is an abandoned structure, an ugly modern replacement bridge having been built a bit south of the bridge. This bridge does not appear to be at risk of demolition at this time, but it is not being maintained, and is in need of a restoration, perhaps for pedestrian traffic.
The two through truss main spans make up the majority of the bridge. They lack original railings, with modern Armco guardrails added. They feature v-lacing on the vertical members and sway bracing. The portal bracing is an a-frame design. The entire bridge sits on concrete abutments and piers. The through truss spans have a wooden deck, again with an asphalt wearing surface. The bridge also has a pony truss approach span placed at the east end of the bridge. The deck of the pony span is concrete with an asphalt wearing surface. This span was placed here in 1964 presumably as a replacement for a previous truss span. The plaque on this bridge credits the Champion Bridge Company of Wilmington, Ohio with building the bridge in 1964. However, this span has a lot of riveted, built-up beams with v-lacing. The Champion Bridge Company was an unusual company that did indeed continue to build truss bridges into the 1960s, however they did not look like this span and instead had rolled beams for members. The Wesler Road Bridge is a good example that dates to 1964. It therefore seems possible that Champion Bridge Company acquired this truss span from some other place and erected it here in 1964. Based on style, the pony truss span looks like a bridge from the 1920s or 1930s.
Information and Findings From Ohio's Historic Bridge Inventory
The bridge is closed to traffic. It is located in a park setting near Sydney and is adjacent to the Big Four Arch open spandrel arch bridge.
The 3 span, 345'-long bridge consists of two pin-connected Pratt thru truss spans and one rivet-connected Warren with verticals pony truss span. It is supported on concrete abutments and piers.
Replacement span, 1964. Replacement deck and railings, 1973?. Loss of fabric from deterioration.
Summary of Significance
The pin-connected 1906 Pratt thru truss is a later example of its type/design, and the bridge has alterations including a 1964 replacement span.
Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: No
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