This bridge is a bridge that is very significant because of two main factors. First, it is among a relatively small group of significant bridges in the country that contain cast iron components. While not a true cast iron bridge since all main members are wrought iron, several components on this bridge are cast iron. The second factor of significance is that this bridge is a rare example of the work of an important and creative bridge company, the Columbia Bridge Works, and this bridge displays the distinctive details of that company. The Columbia Bridge Works was noted for its bridges dating to the 1870s and 1880s that utilized a large number of rolled beams in its members rather than built-up beams that were more common in the period due to the limited size (and potentially a higher cost) of rolled beams caused by the limited technology and facilities of the iron/steel mills of the period. However, the use of rolled beams by the Columbia Bridge Works in the 1880s foretold of a trend that would spread throughout the bridge world, but amazingly not until decades later. In this sense, Columbia Bridge Works was ahead of its time.
The Bridgeport Road Bridge today is abandoned in a heavily shaded setting, and is an excellent representative example of a Columbia Bridge Works pony truss. It includes a rolled top chord and end post beam, as well as rolled beam vertical members. Connection bracket assemblies are made of cast iron.
Information and Findings From Pennsylvania's Historic Bridge Inventory
Discussion of Bridge
The one-span, 74'-long, wrought- and cast-iron Pratt thru truss bridge built ca. 1885 is supported on stone abutments. The bridge exhibits uncommon surviving period details including the cast-iron connecting pieces, flat bar lower chords with bolted lap joints, and verticals composed of I beams. The bridge members are joined by a combination of pin connections and compression fittings. The details are distinctive of the work of the Columbia Bridge Works of Dayton, OH. The bridge is a rare and exceptionally complete example of a cast- and wrought-iron truss bridge. Its construction is representative of the historically significant era of experimentation in metal truss bridge construction following the Civil War when bridge builders developed a diversity of iron truss bridge designs and details. The bridge is historically and technologically distinguished.
Discussion of Surrounding Area
The bridge carries a 2 lane road over a stream in a rural wooded area southeast of Bridgeport. The east approach road curves sharply to meet the bridge. The setting does not have historic district potential.
Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: Yes
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