This bridge is a small three panel pony truss. It retains
original pole railings, and appears to retain good historic integrity. The main
thing that has changed is the deck is currently metal grate, and was likely
originally wood or concrete. It is a rather late example of a pin-connected
truss bridge, but is an attractive structure that should be easy to maintain and
preserve due to its small size.
Information and Findings From Ohio's Historic Bridge
The bridge carries a 2 lane road over a stream in a sparsely developed, rural setting.
The 1 span, 51'-long, pin-connected Pratt pony truss bridge is traditionally composed with built-up compression members and eye-bar tension members. It has pipe railings.
Summary of Significance
The 1914 pin-connected Pratt pony truss bridge is a late example of its type/design with no distinguishing features or details. Earlier and more distinguished examples better represent the technological
significance of the bridge type/design. The not eligible recommendation of the prior inventory remains appropriate.
Pratt trusses were undoubtedly the most popular truss design of the last quarter of the 19th century and
continued to be built into the 20th century, although eventually superseded in popularity by Warren trusses. The design, which initially was a combination of wood compression and iron tension members, was patented in 1844 by Thomas
& Caleb Pratt. Ohio has three covered bridges that use this combination configuration, but they are all modern reconstructions based on the Pratt patent. The great advantage of the Pratt over other designs was the relative ease of
calculating the distribution of stresses. More significantly, it translated well into an all-metal design in lengths of less than 200'. Significant surviving examples of all-metal Pratt trusses mostly date to the last quarter of the
19th century, and they are found with thru, pony, and the less common bedstead configuration. Prior to about 1890, a variety of panel point connections were in widespread use (including bolts, cast-iron pieces, and pins), but
engineering opinion was coalescing around pins as the most efficient and constructible. Many of the connection details were proprietary and associated with individual builders or companies, and thus earlier examples are generally
taken to be technologically significant in showing the evolution of the design. Later post-1890 Pratt trusses show a progression toward less variation in their details such that by 1900 the design was quite formulaic with few
significant differences between the designs of various builders. This marked the end of the pin-connected Pratt's technological evolution and, in fact, it was soon waning and eclipsed in the highway bridge market by more rigid,
rivet-connected truss designs, particularly the Warren but also riveted Pratts. The transition to riveted connections, which happened even earlier with railroads than highways, was in no small part due to concerns about stress
reversals at the pins under heavier loads and improvements in pneumatic field riveting equipment in the early 1900s. In Ohio, Pratt truss highway bridges, whether pinned or riveted, were almost always built under the auspices of
counties and local units of government; the Pratt was not a standard design of the state highway department.
In Ohio, there are 185 Pratt trusses dating from ca. 1874 to 1945 with at least 60 dating prior to 1900 (Phase 1A,
2008). The technologically significant unaltered examples of pin-connected Pratt trusses for the most part date prior to 1900 and have documented or attributed builders and dates of construction and/or significant connection or
member details. Later post-1900 examples are less technologically significant. Significant unaltered examples of riveted-connected Pratt trusses date from ca. 1900 to 1915.
Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: No
Photo Galleries and Videos: State Line Road Bridge
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