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Book Bridge

Book Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: August 1, 2010

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Book Road Over Muddy Creek
Rural: Butler County, Pennsylvania: United States
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
By Builder/Contractor: Pittsburgh Bridge Company of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Main Span Length
52 Feet (15.8 Meters)
Structure Length
56 Feet (17.1 Meters)
Roadway Width
15.4 Feet (4.69 Meters)
1 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

This bridge is a small but noteworthy historic truss bridge because of its age, lack of alteration, and presumed association  with the Pittsburgh Bridge Company, a prolific and noteworthy regional bridge builder during the period. This bridge is also unusual in that the bottom chord at the end panels slope upward to meet the end post. The bridge's outriggers have cruciform beams (sometimes called star iron) which are a rare type of rolled beam normally only found on bridges dating to the 1870s and early 1880s. This brings the c. 1895 data offered by the Historic Bridge Inventory into question, suggesting the bridge could be older. The National Bridge Inventory lists a 1925 construction date which suggests that the bridge may have been relocated from another location to this site in that year. The bridge is in decent condition, but the paint has begun to fail in many areas. The time to plan for a rehabilitation of this bridge for continued light vehicular use is now. At this time, a rehabilitation would likely cost far less than replacing the bridge, representing two benefits: savings of tax dollars and historic bridge preservation.

Information and Findings From Pennsylvania's Historic Bridge Inventory

Discussion of Bridge

The ca. 1895, pin connected, single span, 56'-long, Pratt pony truss bridge with the floor beams above the lower chords is supported on ashlar abutments with concrete wingwalls. The trusses are traditionally composed, and there are no innovative or distinctive details, but the bridge is complete, and it appears to have been fabricated by the Pittsburgh Bridge Company. It ranks as one of the oldest complete truss bridges in the district and it is historically and technologically significant based on its date of construction, which is based on its design, and its completeness.

Discussion of Surrounding Area

The bridge carries 1 lane of an unimproved road over a stream in a sparsely developed, forested setting.

Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: Yes


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