The Birdsall Bridge is an unaltered example of a riveted Warren pony truss. It includes original curbs composed of rolled channels riveted to the truss webs. The bridge's railings are pipe. The Birdsall Bridge crossing dates to at least the 1870s. The existing substructure (abutments) dates to 1930. However, in the 1950s, for unknown reasons, the superstructure of this 1930 bridge was replaced. The replacement superstructure was the existing truss seen today, which was relocated from County Road 2. As such, the original construction date of the truss is not known.
This bridge is apparently slated for demolition and replacement. During the environmental assessment, a "rehabilitation" option was considered for this bridge. However the word "rehabilitation" was used rather loosely in the assessment and the proposed work would only extend the bridge's service life by 10 years. A bridge of the type and in the condition of the Birdsall Bridge should, if the recipient of a proper comprehensive rehabilitation, provide at least 50 additional years of service life. The "rehabilitation" considered in the environmental assessment was in reality only a basic maintenance and repair project. The other alternative considered, demolition and replacement was estimated to cost six times the cost of the "rehabilitation alternative." Had this so-called rehabilitation alternative been properly classified as a "repair" alternative, and a comprehensive rehabilitation alternative considered as well, the comprehensive rehabilitation would likely cost less than replacement but more than repair. Given that this bridge's Average Daily Traffic is a mere 36 vehicles, a less costly comprehensive rehabilitation that would greatly extend the service life, while retaining the heritage bridge (which has a design sufficient for this low volume traffic road) would have been a feasible and prudent alternative.
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This historic bridge has been demolished. This map is shown for reference purposes only.
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