This bridge at a quick glance looks like a bedstead truss. It is however not a bedstead, although it still is extremely significant for its vertical end posts.
The Dorrington Road Bridge is a pin-connected Pratt pony truss bridge that is technologically noteworthy for having vertical endposts, giving it a distinct rectangular shape that in uncommon in truss bridge design. The bridge retains a significant level of historic integrity, meaning features that were present on the bridge in 1888 still remain today. Among the elements that remain in their original form are original lattice railings and a builder plaque, which are elements that are often missing from other truss bridges. The builder plaque on the bridge credits the Pittsburgh Bridge Company with building it in 1888 making it among the oldest bridges in Allegheny County, as only three other highway truss bridges on public roads in Allegheny County are known to be older than the Dorrington Road Bridge.
PennDOT is making plans and conducting studies for this bridge which is a process that invariably leads to plans for demolition and replacement. The only bit of hope present is that there is some regional interest in trying to relocate and preserve this bridge elsewhere. If a third party will step forward, realizing the significant value of this bridge, and relocate and preserve it elsewhere, there may be a future for this bridge.
The Dorrington Road Bridge will only become more rare and significant as time passes and more truss bridges elsewhere are demolished. The number of 19th century metal truss bridges is rapidly declining, as local road agencies and departments of transportation elect to demolish the aging structures. Indeed, this will almost certainly be the fate of the Dorrington Road Bridge if a third party does not come forward to relocate the bridge. The relocation and restoration of the Dorrington Road Bridge will save an important example of this beautiful structure type for future generations to enjoy. As a relocated pedestrian structure, people will be able to walk across the bridge and spend time enjoying and looking at the intricate structure. Money spent preserving the historic Dorrington Road Bridge for pedestrian traffic will be money well spent, as this bridge could become an important tourist destination in the future.
This historic bridge has been demolished. This map is shown for reference purposes only.
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