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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