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Piney Fork Private Bridge

Piney Fork Private Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: August 1, 2010

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Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Private Drive Over Piney Fork
Rural: Jefferson County, Ohio: United States
Structure Type
Metal 2 Panel Rivet-Connected Inverted Kingpost Pony Truss, Fixed and Approach Spans: Wood Stringer (Multi-Beam),
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
By Builder/Contractor: Canton Bridge Company of Canton, Ohio
Rehabilitation Date
Not Available or Not Applicable
Main Span Length
Not Available
Structure Length
Not Available
Roadway Width
Not Available
1 Main Span(s) and 1 Approach Span(s)
Inventory Number
Not Applicable

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)
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Bridge Documentation

A Brief History of Canton Bridge Company From Historic American Engineering Record

This bridge is an extremely rare example of a bizarre bridge design that was the distinctive design of the Canton Bridge Company.

These bridges, all built by the Canton Bridge Company are sometimes called lattice girders or are also sometimes called inverted kingpost truss bridges. In reality, they are a blend of a girder and a truss bridge. The diagonal members that form the inverted kingpost truss design function as a pony truss. However the lattice that fills the entire web functions like a through girder, while also acting (and looking like) a traditional lattice railing for the bridge. However, classifying these bridges as inverted kingpost truss bridges makes sense, because this distinguishes them from other lattice girder bridges which lack the distinctive inverted kingpost diagonals.

With the other few examples of this bridge design in Ohio either demolished or altered, this bridge is distinguished as the best remaining example in the state. The bridge retains its decorative flower buttons on the lattice.

It would appear that this bridge was many years ago relocated from somewhere else, but it is not known at this time where the previous location might have been.

Information and Findings From Ohio's Historic Bridge Inventory


The bridge carries a private drive over a stream west of SR 152 in Dillonvale. The driveway serves several residences (ca. 1950-1980).

Physical Description

The 1 span, pony truss bridge functions as an inverted king-post truss. The upper chord is built up from a plate that is curved at its ends. Riveted to the bottom side of the plate are longitudinal angle stiffeners that also form connection points for the lattice bar railings. At the curved haunches of the upper chords are gusset plates to which are attached a pair of diagonal angles. At mid-span, the diagonals support a rolled floorbeam with vertical outrigger. The floorbeam is connected to the diagonals and the interior lattice bar railings by a gusset plate. The flooring system consists of rolled stringers and plank deck. There is a stringer approach span at the east end. The bridge has concrete abutments and pier.

Summary of Significance

The short-span, inverted king post, pony truss bridge is a rare example of a distinctive type/design attributable to the Canton Bridge Co. of Canton, Oh. This is 1 of 3 identified examples (Phase 1B, July 2009). The bridge is off- system on a private drive, but may have been relocated here, since the substructure appears newer than the superstructure, but it has excellent integrity of original design and materials. There is no record of it in ODOT's prior inventories. It is technologically significant (Criterion C) because it represents the era of innovation and experimentation in metal-truss bridge design and an unusual solution to the need for short-span, metal-truss highway bridges in the late 19th century.

The Canton Bridge Company was established in 1876, but apparently struggled financially and was reorganized in 1891. One of the original 1891 stockholders was David Hammond, the founder of Canton's larger and better- known fabricator, the Wrought Iron Bridge Company in 1866. The Canton Bridge Company was perhaps best known for its successful sales network with offices in major cities from the Northeast to the Midwest with the offices headed by relatives or close associates of David Hammond. In 1901, the company erected over 800 bridges and claimed to have fabricated 25% of all highway bridges built in Ohio that year. The company remained in operation through at least the mid-1910s.


The bridge is an uncommon type and has a high level of significance. Most complete example of type in the state.

Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: Yes

View PDF Historic Bridge Inventory Sheet


Photo Galleries and Videos: Piney Fork Private Bridge


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Maps and Links: Piney Fork Private Bridge

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2021 National Bridge Inventory: View listed bridges within 0.5 miles (0.8 kilometers) of this bridge.

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