This bridge is an eleven panel pin connected structure. While the configuration is listed in the Historic Bridge Inventory as a Parker, because it has five angles making up the top chord/end post, the bridge is actually a more rare variation of the Parker known as a Camelback truss. There is extensive v-lacing and lattice on the structure. The deck of the bridge is a metal grate. The bridge retains original builder plaques. An additional bridge was added many years ago next to this bridge to form a one-way couplet of bridges. This eliminates any issues that might be seen with having a one-lane bridge. This bridge is a beautiful structure, and is near to historic canal locks and as such, preserving this bridge makes sense. This bridge has been closed to traffic due to deterioration however. With a one-way couplet arrangement already in place, a project to rehabilitate the historic truss and continue this function is logical. However when it comes to historic bridges in Pennsylvania, logic is often thrown out the window, and that is certainly the case here. This bridge is instead slated for demolition and replacement. The only positive is that the two end panels will be salvaged for display in the nearby park. While this is better than most forms of mitigation, it would have been better to move and preserve the entire bridge. To say nothing of preserving the bridge in place for pedestrian use, given the park setting and trails around the bridge this would have been an excellent choice.
Information and Findings From Pennsylvania's Historic Bridge Inventory
Discussion of Bridge
The 1897, pin connected, single span, 187'-long, Parker thru truss bridge is supported on ashlar abutments with flared wingwalls. The polygonal upper chords are built up box sections, the verticals are toe-out channels with lacing, and the diagonals and lower chords are eye bars. The bridge is historically and technologically significant as an early and complete pin connected, Parker thru truss bridge. The technology is rare in Pennsylvania. Approximately 15 pin connected Parker truss highway bridges survive statewide, and only three date from before 1900. Adding to its significance is its association with the Penn Bridge Company, a prolific regional fabricator of metal truss bridges.
Discussion of Surrounding Area
The bridge carries northbound traffic at the west entrance to the Sharpsville Area Recreation Park, created at the site of Lock No. 10 of the mid 19th century Erie Canal Extension. The abandoned and dewatered canal and stone canal lock chamber is located a short distance south of the bridge. A parallel 2-span, post-1956 stringer bridge carries southbound traffic.
Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: Yes
Information From www.mercercotrussbridges.com Demolition Mitigation Website
Discussion of Bridge
The bridge now carries northbound
traffic only, while a parallel, two-span, post-1956 stringer bridge
carries southbound traffic. The bridge crosses the Shenango River at the
east entrance to the Sharpsville Canal Lock Recreation Park, which has
been created at the site of Lock No. 10 of the mid-19th century Erie
Canal Extension. The abandoned and dewatered canal and stone canal lock
chamber is located a short distance southwest of the bridge.
This bridge is tagged with the following special condition(s): Unorganized Photos
This historic bridge has been demolished. This map is shown for reference purposes only.
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