This bridge is an extremely rare example of a pin-connected Camelback truss in Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania Historic Bridge Inventory dismissed the bridge as not eligible for the national register. Perhaps there used to be hundreds of camelback trusses in Pennsylvania and this assessment was justified years ago when the inventory was conducted, but today, the number of such bridges in Pennsylvania is extremely small, and surviving examples should be considered eligible.
The seven panel bridge is a traditionally composed structure that aside from a minor alteration to the diagonals at the center panel, retains good integrity of materials and design. The truss composition includes: Top chord and end post: back-to-back channels with cover plate and v-lacing, Diagonal members and bottom chord: up-set eyebars, vertical members: back-to-back channels with v-lacing on each side, struts: two pairs of angles with v-lacing, sway bracing: design composed of riveted angles, floor beams: rolled i-beams riveted directly to vertical members, railing: original lattice railings, deck: open metal grate deck on rolled i-beam deck stringers.
Information and Findings From Pennsylvania's Historic Bridge Inventory
Discussion of Bridge
The single span, 134'-long, pin-connected, steel camelback thru truss bridge built in 1905 is supported on stone abutments. The truss members are eyebars and rods for the tension members and built-up sections for the compression members. The bridge has A-frame portals, stock metal lattice railings, open steel grid deck (ca. 1960), steel stringers, and rolled floorbeams. The diagonals in the middle panel have welded repairs at the lower panel points (ca. 1960). The camelback truss design is a Pratt truss with polygonal top chord of exactly five slopes. It found limited application for spans in the range of 100' to 200' because of the economy of design of the polygonal top chord which offered bridge engineers the ability to vary the depth of the trusses, and thus achieve savings of material. By 1890, the Pratt and Pratt variation truss designs, including camelback, had emerged as the most popular of the pin-connected designs because of their simplicity of design and economy of fabrication and erection, especially the use of eye bars to facilitate field connections. They continued to be used through the first two decades of the 20th century. The bridge is an altered, later example of its type/design with no unusual or noteworthy features. The designer/builder are undocumented by available state records. The bridge is not historically or technologically distinguished by its setting or context.
Discussion of Surrounding Area
The bridge carries a 2 lane road over a stream in a rural setting with scattered late 19th to late 20th century houses. The western quadrants are wooded. At the eastern end is a T-shaped intersection. On the east side of the intersection is a late 19th century picturesque vernacular house and an early 20th century house. The setting does not have the cohesiveness or integrity of a historic district.
Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: No
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