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Loren Road Bridge

The Trestle Bridge

Loren Road Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth and Rick McOmber

Bridge Documented: May 21, 2006 and August 12, 2012

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
CR-242 (TR-127) Over Whetstone Creek
Rural (Near Mt. Gilead): Morrow County, Ohio: United States
Structure Type
Metal Bowstring Through Truss, Fixed
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1879 By Builder/Contractor: Wrought Iron Bridge Company of Canton, Ohio

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Not Available or Not Applicable
Main Span Length
102 Feet (31.1 Meters)
Structure Length
104 Feet (31.7 Meters)
Roadway Width
14 Feet (4.27 Meters)
1 Main Span(s)
NBI Number

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)
View Information About HSR Ratings

Bridge Documentation

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

View Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) Documentation For This Bridge

HAER Drawings, PDF - HAER Data Pages, PDF

This bridge is sometimes called The Trestle Bridge because there was once a railroad bridge that crossed the creek beside this bridge. The bowstring truss bridge is arguably the rarest "once-common" type of bridge in North America. A blend of truss and arch structure types, these bridges were mainly built in the 1870s, and bridge builders experimented with the use of metal in bridge building. As such, with the exception of a few outliers, bowstring truss bridges are among the oldest metal bridges in the country. This rarity does not mean however that appropriate sources of funding are available to restore the few remaining bridges however. Programs like the National Historic Covered Bridge Preservation Act have saved only one structure type, leaving other structure types, regardless of historic significance, to be unfunded and often demolished and replaced.

The fate of the Loren Road Bridge is in question, because it was at the receiving end of a careless driver who collided with and damaged the bridge. Vehicle-bridge collisions occur far too often, most likely because drivers are never penalized appropriately. In this case, the driver's insurance should have been called upon to repair the damages done to this important historic bridge. Drivers need to remember to reduce speed significantly when crossing narrow and historic bridges. Doing so will ensure that control of the vehicle is not lost, and that both bridge and driver remain safe.

The Loren Road Bridge is a rare example of a Wrought Iron bridge Company bowstring truss bridge. Alterations include replacement of much of the flooring system, as well as replacement of the sway bracing. Otherwise, the structure is an excellent example of its type, and is a fairly long example as well.

Information and Findings From Ohio's Historic Bridge Inventory


The bridge is closed to all traffic due to impact damage from 2005. It is located on a road adjacent to the county yard, fairgrounds, and sewage treatment plant. The road is closed.

Physical Description

The 1 span, 104'-long, wrought-iron bowstring thru truss bridge has tubular upper chord, built-up verticals, rod diagonals, and lower chord bars. The bridge was strengthened by adding members prior to its closing.


Rehabilitated in 1999. Impact damage caused closure in 2005.

Summary of Significance

The 1879 bowstring truss is a rare and technologically significant example of a WIBCo patented bowstring truss. The bridge was sensitively rehabilitated in 1999 and has had some impact damage forcing its closure. The eligible recommendation of the prior inventory remains appropriate. It has been documented by HAER OH-59.


The bridge is one of the 22 extant bowstring truss bridges that survive in the state. Having so many is remarkable, and even though they are "common" based on their numbers, each is an important and irreplaceable record of the development of the metal truss bridge and the ingenuity associated with the Ohio industrial development. The bridge has high significance.

Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: Yes

This bridge is tagged with the following special condition(s): Keystone Columns


Photo Galleries and Videos: Loren Road Bridge

View Photo Gallery
2012 Bridge Photo-Documentation
Original / Full Size Photos
A collection of overview and detail photos, taken August 12, 2012. This gallery offers photos in the highest available resolution and file size in a touch-friendly popup viewer. Alternatively, Browse Without Using Viewer
View Photo Gallery
2012 Bridge Photo-Documentation
Mobile Optimized Photos
A collection of overview and detail photos, taken August 12, 2012. This gallery features data-friendly, fast-loading photos in a touch-friendly popup viewer. Alternatively, Browse Without Using Viewer
View Photo Gallery
2006 Bridge Photo-Documentation
A collection of overview and detail photos, taken May 19, 2006. This photo gallery contains a combination of Original Size photos and Mobile Optimized photos in a touch-friendly popup viewer. Alternatively, Browse Without Using Viewer


Maps and Links: Loren Road Bridge

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