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Tindall Bridge

Tindall Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth and Rick McOmber

Bridge Documented: June 24, 2007

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Rice Road (CR-209) Over Sandusky River
Rural: Sandusky County, Ohio: United States
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1915 By Builder/Contractor: Champion Iron Company of Kenton, Ohio

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Not Available or Not Applicable
Main Span Length
166 Feet (50.6 Meters)
Structure Length
332 Feet (101.2 Meters)
Roadway Width
15.7 Feet (4.79 Meters)
2 Main Span(s)
NBI Number

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)
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Bridge Documentation

View Archived National Bridge Inventory Report - Has Additional Details and Evaluation

The Tindall Bridge is a bridge that was built in 1915, but its attractive plaque proudly crediting its builders with reconstructing the crossing with a steel bridge perhaps creates images of the 1880s. The Champion Iron Company certainly did build a bridge worthy of pride. The bridge has been maintained well and today is still posted with a generous 25 ton weight limit, which is more than sufficient for the light vehicular traffic that travels Rice Road.

This bridge retains original lattice railings, which are interesting because they are present beyond the truss itself and onto the abutments. This practice is often found over in Ontario, but not elsewhere.

The bridge, with its two spans, each of decent length is a very attractive structure and well worth continued maintenance and preservation. The white paint currently on the bridge enhances the appearance of the bridge and reflects a color choice that was commonly used on bridges in the past, because it showed rust more readily, easing the difficulty of maintenance.

Information and Findings From Ohio's Historic Bridge Inventory


The bridge carries a 1 lane road over a stream in a sparsely developed, rural setting. There is a curve on the east end and a T intersection at the west end.

Physical Description

The 2 span, 332'-long rivet-connected Pratt thru truss bridge supported on concrete substructure units is traditionally composed of built-up members. It has deep lattice portal braces with an oversize builders plaque and lattice railings inside the truss lines. The open grid deck is modern. Otherwise the bridge appears to be complete.


The bridge has been rehabilitated by the county.

Summary of Significance

The riveted Pratt pony[sic] truss bridge was placed in 1915. It is fairly complete example of its type, but it is not an early example nor does it have innovative or distinctive details. Extant riveted truss bridges in Ohio date to the turn of the 20th century, and it is the early examples that chronicle the historical and technological significant of the design.

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 starting about 1900 by the Warren truss design, which was better suited for riveted rather than pinned panel point connections. The Pratt design, which initially was a combination of wood compression and iron tension members, was patented in 1844 by Thomas & Caleb Pratt. 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, pin-connected 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. 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.

Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: No


Photo Galleries and Videos: Tindall Bridge

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