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Wakefield Mound Road Bridge

Wakefield Mound Road Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth and Rick McOmber

Bridge Documented: March 2, 2007

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Wakefield Mound Road Over Big Beaver Creek
Location
Rural: Pike County, Ohio: United States
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1930 By Builder/Contractor: Unknown

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
1994
Main Span Length
83 Feet (25.3 Meters)
Structure Length
87 Feet (26.52 Meters)
Roadway Width
14.8 Feet (4.51 Meters)
Spans
1 Main Span(s)
NBI Number
6631398

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)

Bridge Documentation

This bridge no longer exists!

This bridge was demolished and replaced in 2008!

This bridge was an otherwise traditional example of 1930s pony truss bridge construction. However, more recently, likely due to some sort of structural deterioration, the bridge has been retrofitted in the oddest of ways. Someone managed to acquire the girders from a through plate girder bridge and they attached them to half of the bridge. The girders do not run the entire length of the bridge, and a pier was added to support the end of the girder that extended into the water. Holes were cut through the deck of the truss bridge to connect the girder. There apparently must have been an issue with the floor beams or deck stringers at this end of the bridge to cause this alteration to take plate. The result is quite striking, and it is interesting to suppose that if this bridge were to be left and eventually restored, one might claim there were two historic bridges in one place here!

Information and Findings From Ohio's Historic Bridge Inventory

Setting/Context

The bridge carries a 2 lane road over a stream in a sparsely developed, rural setting.

Physical Description

The 1 span, 87'-long, rivet-connected Warren pony truss bridge has polygonal upper chord and verticals. The members are built up. It appears that salvaged steel girders have been added to the inside of the truss lines as a strengthening measure (ca. 1990). There are lattice railings.

Integrity

Strengthened with plate girders, ca. 1990.

Summary of Significance

The 1930 Warren pony truss is a late example of its type/design with no distinguishing features. It has riveted connections, typical of Warren trusses from about 1900 to the 1940s when riveted connections began to be phased out in favor of welded connections. The weld-connected Warren trusses continue to be a popular bridge type/design on county roads in Ohio. The survey has identified more than 500 pre-1961 Warren pony truss bridges, making them the most common truss type/design surviving in the state. This example is not historically significant for its technology or context. More distinguished examples better represent the significance of the type/design in the development of the state's road systems. 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.

Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: No

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