This bridge is a beautiful structure, among the finest in western Pennsylvania! The bridge is a Pratt through truss with pinned connections. The bridge consists of five panels. There is v-lacing on the verticals and sway bracing. The sidewalks on both sides of the bridge are cantilevered, and are cantilevered from the floorbeams in a somewhat unusual way, with a rolled i-beam resting on the top of the floorbeam, and an rolled angle riveted to the bottom flange of the floorbeam running up to meet the i-beam at the edge of the bridge. What makes this bridge stand out most however is that it decorated like a king, and these decorations remain unaltered on the bridge. Plaques are mounted on the lattice portal bracing. There is a beautiful decorative portal cresting placed above the portal bracing, a design that the Youngstown Bridge Company used on other bridges. The railings are highly ornate from the decorative posts, to the ornate arched lattice designs on the railings themselves. The design of these railing panels is not unique, but it is perhaps the least common of all non-unique railing designs, in some cases due to other examples being demolished. Given the number of exceedingly rare and significant bridges that have been demolished in Crawford County's once-rich collection of historic metal truss bridges, the preservation of this bridge should receive an extremely high priority for this area.
Information and Findings From Pennsylvania's Historic Bridge Inventory
Discussion of Bridge
The 1896, pin connected, single span, 79'-long, Pratt thru truss bridge is supported on concrete-filled, built up caissons. Fabricated by the Youngstown Bridge Co., the bridge stands as a remarkably complete example of its type and design with its decorative cresting and handsome cast and wrought iron railing at the cantilevered sidewalk. The trusses themselves are traditionally composed, but the lattice filled portal brace and knee braces with radiation pattern fill are characteristic of the fabricator. The bridge stands out in a rich collection of metal truss bridges in Crawford County, and it is historically and technologically significant.
Discussion of Surrounding Area
The bridge carries 1 lane of a 2 lane street over a stream in the borough of Conneautville. The area lacks the architectural significance and cohesiveness of a potential historic district. Many residences and commercial buildings date from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, but most are undistinguished or have been altered with modern siding and changed fenestration. There are also mid 20th century houses, including post-WW II residences just south of the bridge.
Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: Yes
This bridge is tagged with the following special condition(s): Arch Lattice Railing
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