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Hodgens Bridge

Hodgens Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: June 1, 2010

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Walker Hill Road Over Buffalo Creek
Rural: Washington County, Pennsylvania: United States
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1889 By Builder/Contractor: Penn Bridge Company of Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Not Available or Not Applicable
Main Span Length
100 Feet (30.5 Meters)
Structure Length
103 Feet (31.4 Meters)
Roadway Width
12.8 Feet (3.9 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 seven panel truss bridge is an excellent example of the unique and distinctive designs of the Penn Bridge Company. Most noteworthy is the detail that drives modern engineers nuts, which is that there are two pins (ie two connections) at the top chord / end post intersection where the hip vertical is located. Even though this unusual detail may not make sense to modern engineers, and may have not offered any advantage, the detail certainly has not kept the bridge from being able to serve vehicular traffic for well over a century. Another distinctive detail present on many Penn Bridge Company truss bridges is the way in which the top chord does not neatly meet up with the corner of the top of the end post. Instead, the top chord rests on top of the vertical member. Decorative cast iron covers for the top chord ends remain in place for only one of the top chords. Finally, another Penn Bridge Company detail is the tiny decorative medallions that are affixed to the knees of the portal bracing.

The bridge is historically and technologically significant for its unusual details that document the distinctive designs of a noteworthy Pennsylvania-based bridge company. The bridge retains good historic integrity with the exception of the bottom chord connections which have rather ugly modern metal beams bolted to the floorbeams and vertical members to bypass the connection. The good news is that these alterations appear to be reversible, and could be removed as part of a comprehensive restoration project.

Information and Findings From Pennsylvania's Historic Bridge Inventory

Discussion of Bridge

The 104' long, pin connected Pratt through truss bridge built in 1889 is supported on ashlar abutments and flared wingwalls. The trusses are traditionally composed with the verticals being toe-out channels with laced webs. The stringers and deck are wood. The bridge stands out in a region with a deep and varied collection of metal truss bridges as one of the earliest. It also appears to be complete. The bridge is historically and technologically significant example of its type and design based on its date of construction and completeness.

Discussion of Surrounding Area

The bridge carries one lane of a township road over a stream in a rural area of active farms near the intersection of SR 221 and TR 476, north of Taylorstown. Scattered 20th century houses are in the area.

Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: Yes


Photo Galleries and Videos: Hodgens Bridge

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Bridge Photo-Documentation
Original / Full Size Photos
A collection of overview and detail photos. This gallery offers photos in the highest available resolution and file size in a touch-friendly popup viewer. Alternatively, Browse Without Using Viewer
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Bridge Photo-Documentation
Mobile Optimized Photos
A collection of overview and detail photos. This gallery features data-friendly, fast-loading photos in a touch-friendly popup viewer. Alternatively, Browse Without Using Viewer
View Video
Northbound Approach and Crossing of the Bridge
Full Motion Video
Streaming video of the bridge. Also includes a higher quality downloadable video for greater clarity or offline viewing.


Maps and Links: Hodgens Bridge

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