This bridge was listed as an unknown builder, and a ca.1895 bridge, but it in fact appears to have been built by the Smith Bridge Company of Toledo, Ohio, based on its use of battens on the verticals and other confirmed similar structures built by the company in Venango County, such as the Dotter Road Bridge. The Dotter Road Bridge also has a plaque. The Kaneville Bridge does not, but a rust scar left behind is shaped in the same design as Dotter Road. As such, the Kaneville Bridge likely is older than the ca. 1895 date that the historic bridge inventory suggests, and instead is likely ca. 1885. The Kaneville Bridge is a very small half-hip pony truss, and features three panels. However, if the above conclusions are correct, this is quite an old bridge. Its small size should make maintenance and preservation costs minimal. Whether Pennsylvania actually does preserve it is a different story.
Another reason to preserve this bridge is that it serves only a single home on a dead-end road. Whoever lives at this house must party hard every day, or they spend all day just driving back and forth over this bridge, because the listed Average Daily Traffic (ADT) for this bridge in 2007 was 100, and this is predicted to rise to 140 by 2027. Seriously, this listed ADT is obviously incorrect. This raises some serious questions. How many other historic bridges have inflated ADTs? ADT is one of the factors considered when deciding whether to rehabilitate or replace a bridge. An inflated ADT might lead to the needless demolition of a historic bridge.
Information and Findings From Pennsylvania's Historic Bridge Inventory
Discussion of Bridge
The ca. 1895, pin connected, single span, 38'-long, Pratt pony truss bridge is stylistically similar to an 1894 truss bridge in the same township. The traditionally composed trusses are supported on one ashlar and one concrete abutment. The latter dates to 1985, when the stringers were replaced and the bearings were encased in concrete. The bridge is an altered and undistinguished example of a common type and design. Pin connected truss bridges are common in Venango County with 16 surviving examples dating from 1880 to 1904.
Discussion of Surrounding Area
The bridge carries 1 lane of an unimproved road over a stream in a sparsely developed, rural area with scattered 20th century residences, including trailer homes. The setting does not have historic district potential.
Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: No
Coordinates (Latitude, Longitude):
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