This bridge is a reinforced concrete through arch bridge, an uncommon bridge type often called a rainbow arch bridge. Among rainbow arch bridges, this structure is a long example, a trait that makes it both historically significant and impressive to look at. The bridge is large enough that it includes overhead bracing, which adds to the visual experience as one crosses the bridge. This bridge is visible from the new alignment of OH-7, while the historic bridge carries one-way local traffic. A trip off of OH-7 is recommended to get a better look at this large example of a rare structure type.
This bridge is one of two similar bridges in the county, the other being the Center Road Bridge, both located on old OH-7 alignment. The Center Road Bridge differs from the Mill Road Bridge in that it has been rehabilitated. It would be nice to see the Mill Road Bridge rehabilitated as well, as the Mill Road Bridge is a magnificent structure as well. The Mill Road Bridge retains original railings, but these are in poor condition and may suggest why the railings on the Center Road Bridge were replaced. The same may have to be done with the Mill Road Bridge. The abutment railings are solid panel rather than balustrade, and they appear to be in much better shape. The Mill Road Bridge features the same span size as Center Road, but features approach spans that appear to be integrated with stone abutments that may be from a previous structure, to make up the distance, resulting in a longer total structure length listed in the National Bridge Inventory.
A pre-1900 date was given for this bridge by the National Bridge Inventory, but it was likely built around 1925, since it is nearby and on the same road as the 1925 Center Road Bridge. The NBI sometimes lists the oldest possible date for any part of the bridge; since the stone abutments are apparently from a previous structure, this pre-1900 date may refer to that. Ashtabula County is just lucky to happen to have two of these extremely rare, large, and significant examples of a beautiful structure type.
Information and Findings From Ohio's Historic Bridge Inventory
The bridge carries a 2 lane road over a stream in a rural setting with scattered 20th century residences.
The 1 span, 154'-long, reinforced-concrete thru arch has paneled upper lateral struts and is finished with concrete balustrades. The approach spans appear to be slabs or T beams.
Rehabilitated in 1999.
Summary of Significance
The 1925 rainbow arch is a complete example of a rare bridge type/design in Ohio. It was sensitively rehabilitated in 1999. The inventory has identified seven surviving examples dating from 1909 to 1930 (Phase 1A
Update, 2008). The eligible recommendation of the prior inventory remains appropriate.
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
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