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Canal Road Bridge

Kelly Road Bridge

Canal Road Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth and Rick McOmber

Bridge Documented: July 1, 2006 and August 21, 2010

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Canal Road (TR-388, Canal Road) Over Shenango River
Location
Sharpsville: Mercer County, Pennsylvania: United States
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1897 By Builder/Contractor: Penn Bridge Company of Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Not Available or Not Applicable
Main Span Length
179 Feet (55 Meters)
Structure Length
187 Feet (57 Meters)
Roadway Width
16 Feet (4.88 Meters)
Spans
1 Main Span(s)
NBI Number
437303038823040

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)

Bridge Documentation

This bridge's future is at risk!

Bridge Status: As of 2020, a replacement project has been advertised, and only 2 panels of the truss will be relocated and preserved!

View Archived National Bridge Inventory Report - Has Additional Details and Evaluation

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.

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.

The Penn Bridge Company of Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, was organized in 1868 as T.B. White & Sons. At the time, the firm constructed wooden bridges. The plant was initially established in New Brighton; it was moved across the Beaver River to Beaver Falls in 1878. In 1887, the firm reorganized and incorporated as the Penn Bridge Company, producers of wrought iron, steel, and combination bridges; iron substructures, buildings, and roof trusses; and plate, box, and lattice girders and architectural ironwork. In the 1890s, the Penn Bridge Company's output averaged 5,000 long tons, ranking it as a small bridge fabricator. The Penn Bridge Company remained independent of the American Bridge Company, and continued to grow over the first two decades of the twentieth century, producing large and small structures and structural steel work. The company added new physical plant in 1902, reincorporated in 1905, and employed more than 500 workers in 1908. The Penn Bridge Company built bridges and structures in nearly all U.S. states and territories. It was particularly prominent in Pittsburgh, the City of Bridges. By 1908, the company had built four bridges over the Ohio River, five over the Monongahela River, and two over the Allegheny River, as well as the original Ohio River Dam Nos. 2, 4, 5, and 6.

 

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Photo Galleries and Videos: Canal Road Bridge

 
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Maps and Links: Canal Road Bridge

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