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Dean Road Bridge

Dean Road Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: July 2, 2006

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Dean Road (TR-439) Over Little Sandy Creek
Rural: Venango County, Pennsylvania: United States
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1895 By Builder/Contractor: Unknown

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Main Span Length
52 Feet (15.8 Meters)
Structure Length
56 Feet (17.1 Meters)
Roadway Width
13.5 Feet (4.11 Meters)
1 Main Span(s)
NBI Number

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)
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Bridge Documentation

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

This bridge is a half-hip Pratt pony truss. It features pinned connections and four panels. The deck surface is currently metal grate. This bridge has an unusual alteration. The bottom chord connections are encased in concrete! This apparently was a cheap way to deal with the deterioration that frequently occurs in those areas. It isn't historically sensitive, nor does it look all that nice. On the other hand, the bridge still retains its overall general appearance and thanks to rampant demolition is becoming increasingly rare as a surviving example of a pin-connected truss bridge.

This bridge's vertical members are built up, with back-to-back channels with battens. The use of battens on the verticals was a somewhat uncommon choice (as opposed to lattice or v-lacing) but was used frequently by the Smith Bridge Company of Toledo, Ohio and its successor the Toledo Bridge Company of Toledo, Ohio. Venango County appears to have favored the Smith Bridge Company since several other examples of their work was identified in the county. Smith may have built this bridge as well. If so, the bridge's given 1895 construction date may also be too late, since some of these Smith bridges dated to the 1880s.

Information and Findings From Pennsylvania's Historic Bridge Inventory

Discussion of Bridge

The ca. 1895, pin connected, single span, 56'-long, Pratt pony truss bridge is supported on ashlar abutments with wingwalls. In 1975 the lower panel points and bearings were encased in concrete, making the connections rigid in nature. The bridge is an altered example of a common type and design, and it is not historically or technologically significant. Pin connected truss bridges are common in Venango County. Sixteen examples ranging in date from 1880 to 1904 remain.

Discussion of Surrounding Area

The bridge carries 1 lane of a road over a stream in a rural area of undistinguished farms that does not have historic district potential.

Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: No


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