Lucas County has a lot of railroad bridges thanks to Toledo,
but this is one of the few highway truss bridges in the area. Located just south
of the Michigan border in the Alexis region of Toledo on a road that is
relatively rural for being in a city, this bridge appears to be built by an Ohio
state standard plan. The bridge was fabricated by the American Bridge Company,
and the Standard Engineering and Contracting Company of Toledo, Ohio were the
contractors for the bridge. The bridge's polygonal configuration features a
pleasing and well-defined curve to it. The presence of lattice and v-lacing on
some of the built-up members and chords of this bridge further contribute to the
beauty of this structure.
Information and Findings From Ohio's Historic Bridge
The bridge carries a 2 lane highway over a stream in an area of undistinguished post-World War II commercial and light industrial development near a rail yard.
The 1 span, 107'-long, rivet-connected Warren pony truss bridge has verticals and a polygonal top chord. All built-up members are traditionally composed. The concrete deck, stringers, and beam guide rail appear
to date to 1967.
Deck and railing replacement (1967).
Summary of Significance
The 1926 riveted Warren pony truss bridge built by the county has no distinguishing details or features. It is an example of the most common 20th-century truss type/design in the state that has been built since
the early 20th century, and continues to be built today albeit with rolled members and welded connections. The not eligible recommendation of the prior inventory remains appropriate.
Warren trusses are the most common design
found in Ohio and the nation. The Ohio Phase 1A survey (2008) has identified more than 500 examples dating from 1897 to 1961, accounting for well over half of the approximately 800 pre-1961 metal trusses. The Warren design was
particularly well suited to rigid (riveted, and later welded connections), but not as well suited to pin connections; this helps to explain its popularity in the 20th century rather than the 19th century, although it is based on a
British patent issued to engineers James Warren and Willoughby Monzani in 1848. In the U.S., the popularity of the Warren truss coincided with improvements in pneumatic field riveting equipment starting about 1900. The Warren, which
is based on a series of equilateral triangles, is identified by its simplicity of design, ease of construction with equal-sized members, and ability of some diagonals to act in both tensions and compression. Warren trusses are often
stiffened by the addition of verticals; they can also have polygonal (sloped) upper chords to achieve greatest depth at midspan.
Warren trusses were a standard design of the Ohio State Highway Department in the 1910s and
1920s, but they achieved their greatest popularity with county engineers, who purchased the bridges from Ohio fabricators such as the Champion Bridge Co. and the Mt. Vernon Bridge Co. Fewer than 25 surviving rivet-connected Warren
trusses date prior to 1915, and they represent the period when the rivet-connected design solidified its position as the most popular prefabricated county truss design.
A noteworthy change in the technological development of
Warren trusses was the transition from riveted to welded connections that began in the mid to late 1930s. The development was based on improvements in arc-welding equipment and the propagation of welding techniques as a substitute
for riveting in many fields of construction, such as steel-hull ships and steel-frame buildings. While most of Ohio's remaining truss fabricators went out of business in the depression of the 1930s, Ohio Bridge Corporation (OBC) of
Cambridge grew its business on the development of a standard weld-connected Warren pony truss with polygonal upper chords in the years immediately following WWII. OBC remains in operation and many Ohio counties continue to find the
weld-connected Warren trusses to be a desirable economical alternative to other bridge types. More than 360 of the 500 Warren trusses in the study are weld-connected and most are attributable to OBC from the late 1940s to 1960. It
is the early examples of weld-connected Warren trusses dating from the mid 1930s to mid 1940s that are the technologically significant examples.
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Maps and Links: Schwartz Road Bridge
This historic bridge has been demolished. This map is shown for reference purposes only.