Bridge Status: This historic bridge was demolished and replaced!
This was a beautiful example of the rainbow arch structure type. The technical name is a concrete through arch bridge. They are a very attractive bridge design, and among the most impressive and rare of concrete bridge types. This is a good example of the structure type, having retained historic integrity, with no railing or floor beam modifications. The bridge did suffer from severe deterioration in certain areas including spalling and extensive map cracking with efflorescence found on the floor beams and deck. The arch, hangers and railings were all in much better condition. A possible preservation scenario would have been to replace the deck and floor beams completely, while repairing the arches. Unfortunately, the bridge was instead demolished and replaced with a slab of concrete.
Above: Replacement bridge. Photo Credit: Rick McOmber.
Information and Findings From Ohio's Historic Bridge
The bridge carries a 2 lane road over a stream in a sparsely developed, rural setting.
The 1 span, 95'-long, rainbow (thru) arch bridge has flat-paneled arch ribs with floorbeam hangers and articulated floorbeams. Concrete balustrades fill between the hangers, and flat-panel parapets extend between
the arch ribs and the wingwalls.
Some loss of fabric from spalling.
Summary of Significance
The rainbow arch bridge built in 1930 is a complete, albeit later, example of a bridge type that was in use from the late 1900s to 1930s. The inventory has identified seven surviving examples dating from 1909 to
1930 (Phase 1A Update, 2008). This one, like several others, appears to be the state bridge bureau's design that was in use during the 1920s to early 1930s based on the details.
The rainbow arch in the U.S. developed in the
late 1900s and early 1910s, with its best known variation the 1912 patented design of James B. Marsh of Iowa, (which is debatably a steel arch encased in concrete). In the basic design the deck is supported by vertical hangers
between the arch ribs and the floorbeams. The arch ribs, like Marsh's can have patented steel systems within them, or they can be un-patented systems of conventional reinforced concrete. The bridge type/design is known to be
aesthetically pleasing and came to be popularly known as "rainbow" arches in some parts of the country, including Ohio, although technically they are perhaps best described as thru arches. The bridge type was always more numerous in
the Midwest than other parts of the U.S., probably because of the influence of Marsh. The 1909 and 1911 thru arches designed by E. A. Gast in Hamilton County (3137600 & 3130622) are Ohio's oldest examples and very technologically
significant as they predate the Marsh patent and are believed to have been developed independently. Later examples in Ohio are most often the design of the state bridge bureau, which developed its own standard rainbow arch by 1923.
The bridge is one of 5 remaining examples of the type that was once not uncommon in Ohio. It offered an aesthetic treatment preferred in urban and picturesque settings. The 6 examples date from 1909 to 1930, and
each is of high significance given their limited numbers and importance within the context as the aesthetic alternative to the thru truss bridge.
Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: Yes
This bridge is tagged with the following special condition(s): Unorganized Photos
Original / Full Size Photos A collection of overview and detail photos. This gallery offers photos in the highest available resolution and file size in a touch-friendly popup viewer. Alternatively, Browse Without Using Viewer
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Original / Full Size Photos A supplemental collection of photos that are from additional visit(s) to the bridge and have not been organized or captioned. This gallery offers photos in the highest available resolution and file size in a touch-friendly popup viewer. Alternatively, Browse Without Using Viewer
Mobile Optimized Photos A supplemental collection of photos that are from additional visit(s) to the bridge and have not been organized or captioned. This gallery features data-friendly, fast-loading photos in a touch-friendly popup viewer. Alternatively, Browse Without Using Viewer
Maps and Links: Insley Road Bridge
This historic bridge has been demolished. This map is shown for reference purposes only.