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Mill Road Bridge

Mill Road Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Elaine Deutsch

Bridge Documented: 2008

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Mill Road (TR-402) Over West Branch Red Clay Creek
Rural: Chester County, Pennsylvania: United States
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1889 By Builder/Contractor: John Denithorne and Sons of Phoenixville, Pennsylvania

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Main Span Length
60 Feet (18 Meters)
Structure Length
60 Feet (18 Meters)
Roadway Width
13 Feet (3.96 Meters)
1 Main Span(s)
NBI Number

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)

Bridge Documentation

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

 This bridge is a classic example of a Denithorne truss bridge. It has built-up vertical members whose bottom half have lacing bars used like battens, while the top half displays a more traditional v-lacing design. Denithorne was noted for unusual v-lacing details on its truss bridges. This bridge has unfortunately been replaced with a modern bridge, however the truss webs were saved and placed on the replacement bridge as decorations. Oddly, this form of replacement has the additional value of retaining the possibility in the future of replacing the stringer bridge and reattaching the trusses to floorbeams, thus restoring the truss design of the bridge. If this were done, the bridge would be returned to a level of historic integrity similar to many rehabilitated truss bridges, since for better or worse, floorbeams are often replaced in rehabilitation projects.

Information and Findings From Pennsylvania's Historic Bridge Inventory

Discussion of Bridge

The one-span, 60'-long, bridge was built in 1889 as a pin-connected, metal, Pratt pony truss bridge, and rehabilitated in 1992 with the placement of steel stringers between the truss lines to carry the live loads. The pin connections and U-shaped floorbeam hangers were left unaltered, but the upper chord was strengthened by the addition of bolted channels. The truss's built-up floorbeams were cut and reconnected by bolts to the fascia stringers. The bridge is supported on stone abutments with wingwalls. The stringers with steel diaphragms support a wood deck and railings also placed in 1992. The bridge no longer functions as a truss and the integrity of original design has been compromised by alterations and replacement of original fabric. More complete examples of pin-connected Pratt truss bridges, many by the same fabricator, have been indentified in the county and region. At least 13 Denithorne-built bridges from 1882 to 1905 have been identified by the survey. Ten of the 13 are located in Chester County.

Discussion of Surrounding Area

The bridge carries a 2 lane road over a stream in a rural setting with scattered 19th- to late- 20th-century residences. The northern quadrants are wooded. Located to the south is a subdivision. The setting does not have historic district potential.

Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: No


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