This five panel truss bridge is overall a traditionally composed pony truss bridge, except for its small, widely spaced battens under the built-up top chord and end post, and also the use of rolled beams for vertical members. The use of rolled verticals on a truss bridge which is clearly a 9th century bridge, strongly suggests that Columbia Bridge Works may have built the bridge, although the bridge does not feature many of the other usual details seen on bridges built by that company such as rolled beam top chord / end post as well as plate bottom chord. Neither of those two details are present on this bridge. This may be a later example of the company's work.
The Columbia Bridge Works was noted for its bridges dating to the 1870s and 1880s that utilized a large number of rolled beams in its members rather than built-up beams that were more common in the period due to the limited size (and potentially a higher cost) of rolled beams caused by the limited technology and facilities of the iron/steel mills of the period. However, the use of rolled beams by the Columbia Bridge Works in the 1880s foretold of a trend that would spread throughout the bridge world, but amazingly not until decades later. In this sense, Columbia Bridge Works was ahead of its time.
This bridge was recently closed to traffic and knowing Pennsylvania is probably at risk for demolition. However it is worth noting that in truth, the rural location of this bridge would make it easy to rehabilitate for continued light vehicular use, while similarly, its small pony truss size make it equally feasible to relocate and restore for pedestrian use at a new location.
Information and Findings From Pennsylvania's Historic Bridge Inventory
Discussion of Bridge
The single-span, 51'-long, pin-connected, steel Pratt pony truss bridge dates stylistically to ca. 1890. It is traditionally composed except for the rolled wrought iron I section verticals. Based on that detail, the bridge is attributed to the Columbia Bridge Works of Dayton, Ohio. The company is documented to have been active in central Pennsylvania during the mid 1880s. The bridge dates from late in the era when bridge builders were experimenting with a diversity of iron truss bridge designs and details. The bridge is historically and technologically significant.
Discussion of Surrounding Area
The bridge carries one lane of an unimproved road over a stream in a sparsely developed, wooded setting.
Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: Yes
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