This is an attractive bridge that likely dates to the 1880s. The National Bridge Inventory date of 1949 likely refers to the abutments, which are concrete and much newer than the 1880s. It is not known if this bridge sits in its original location, and the abutments were just replaced in 1949, or if this truss bridge was relocated here in 1949.
This bridge has distinctive details of the Penn Bridge Company design. It is similar to the Coal Center Bridge. The Evans Bridge has a portal bracing that has lost nearly all of the distinctive decorative Penn Bridge Company buttons on the lattice of the portal bracing. These buttons would have included a variety of images on them, including what looks like the Liberty Bell, and also the word "Penn." The bridge also has the unusual design detail of two pins at the end of the top chord, one for the hip vertical and one for the diagonal member, another typical Penn Bridge Company detail. The Historic Bridge Inventory thought that the Groton Bridge Company built this bridge. This is totally incorrect, and it is completely unclear where that would come from.
Some of the counter diagonal members on this bridge have been cut and welded with a odd-looking plate to create a splice. Why would such an alteration be made? It is not clear. Hopefully it wasn't because somebody thought the original turnbuckles could not be adjusted because they were rusty. Rusty nuts, bolts, and turnbuckles on historic bridges can all be made operable by heating the nut or turnbuckle, which enlarges the metal and breaks it lose, enabling it to be turned, even if it has rusted and not been turned for decades.
Information and Findings From Pennsylvania's Historic Bridge Inventory
Discussion of Bridge
The ca. 1890 one span, 94' long, pin connected Pratt thru truss bridge is supported on stone abutments. The trusses are traditionally composed except for the unusual double pin detail at the upper hip panel point. One pin is for the eye bar floor beam hanger and the other is for the diagonal. The shaped, built up floor beams are original. Modern turnbuckles have been added to spliced into the original diagonals by welded connections. Otherwise the bridge appears to be complete. The fabricator is not documented in available records, but the bridge is historically and technologically significant as an example of the techonology prior to it becoming standardized. The bridge is attributed to the Groton Bridge Co. of New York.
Discussion of Surrounding Area
The bridge carries a 2 lane road over a stream south of a crossroads settlement composed of mid-19th through modern houses. There are 19th century houses that may be potentially eligible beyond the SW and NE quadrants, but there are modern ones beyond the NE one. The settlement does not have the cohesiveness and concentration of resources to be a potential historic district.
Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: Yes
This bridge is tagged with the following special condition(s): Unorganized Photos
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