This bridge held a record for a number of years after its completion for longest continuous truss bridge. It also has apparently held some sort of record for amount of weight it can hold, accounting for its massive members. Gustav Lindenthal, a noted engineer who designed such bridges as the Hell Gate Bridge in New York, was the engineer for this bridge as well. This bridge was also an early project that engineer David Steinman was involved in. Steinman later became a renowned engineer as well. An important bridge company, the McClintic-Marshall Company was the contractor for the bridge. McClintic-Marshall built such bridges as the Ambassador Bridge.
The erection method of this bridge was of interest because one side of the main span was built with falsework to keep it in balance, until the other half could be built out using the cantilever method, which brought the bridge into balance. The bridge had to be designed with parts that anticipated bending under dead and live loads. As a result, during construction before the full load of the bridge was being applied to the structural parts, some connections required special jacking to pull them into alignment to allow for rivets to be driven. This process can be seen in progress in the photo to the left. Another construction challenge was icy flooding, which forced the acceleration of construction efforts due to concerns that the floods might damage the falsework.
The Sciotoville Railroad Bridge remains today an enormous feat of engineering, and it contains some of the most massive members and chords ever seen in a truss bridge. The bridge sits on concrete piers, and an extensive approach system is present for the bridge, including a deck truss span and numerous plate girder spans.
The Little Scioto River Railroad Bridge is nearby. An otherwise normal through truss span, it is dwarfed by the Sciotoville Railroad Bridge.
Above: Stress diagram for bridge, digitized by Internet Archive from Transactions of American Society of Civil Engineers. Click for full-size diagram.
Main Bridge PlaqueTHE CHESAPEAKE & OHIO NORTHERN RAILWAY COMPANY
OHIO RIVER BRIDGE
TWO SPAN CONTINUOUS BRIDGE 1550 FEET LONG
FRANK TRUMPBULL. CHAIRMAN BOARD OF DIRECTORS
GEO. W. STEVENS. PRESIDENT
M. J. CAPLES. VICE PRESIDENT
CONSULTING ENGINEER & DESIGNER OF BRIDGE
MCCLINTIC MARSHALL CO
FABRICATORS AND ERECTORS OF STEELWORK
Interpretive PlaqueSCIOTOVILLE BRIDGE
Designed and built by two famous American Civil Engineers
GUSTAV LINDENTHAL, D. Sc. (1850-1935)
The Consulting Engineer
DAVID BARNARD STEINMAN, D Sc. (1887-1960)
The Designer and Stress Analyst
A double track railroad bridge of twin spans each 775 feet long, it remained until 1935 the longest continuous truss bridge in the world and stands today as the prototype for continuous structures.
Its construction marked a major advance in the art of bridge engineering and was a pioneer achievement in continuous truss analysis. In beauty of design, size, and erection techniques, it stands as a landmark in man's mastery of his environment.
The Ohio Historical Society
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