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Bear Creek Bridge

Knox Road Bridge

Bear Creek Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: July 2, 2006

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Key Facts

Rural: Armstrong County, Pennsylvania and Butler County, Pennsylvania: United States
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1913 By Builder/Contractor: Farris Engineering (Bridge) Company of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Main Span Length
77 Feet (23.5 Meters)
Structure Length
83 Feet (25.3 Meters)
Roadway Width
17.7 Feet (5.39 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

The first thing you might notice if you visit this bridge is the plaque on the bridge, which would be worthy of the nickname "Essay Plaque" since it is large, especially for such a small and rural bridge, and the plaque is filled with text! This is essentially a county line bridge, so they had to put the names of officials from two counties on it rather than just one. The bridge is technically completely in Butler County, but only because the Armstrong County road makes a tight loop westward into Butler County for a short distance. This bridge is a subdivided Warren pony truss with riveted connections. Its members are fairly substantial in size, although it has very tiny outriggers.

The Historic Bridge Inventory thought that the bridge was not historically significant. Such a statement needs to be reconsidered in light of demolition of similar bridges undertaken since the inventory was created. Furthermore, the bridge is a rare example of a bridge built by the Farris Bridge Company. While it is important to recognize a prolific bridge builder's work, it would seem that the smaller companies would have built less bridges so less examples remain, and are thus also significant as rare surviving examples of a particular company's work. The position of the Historic Bridge Inventory was different, since it only assigned builder significance to prolific companies. HistoricBridges.org feels that the smaller less prolific companies do not deserve to be completely forgotten either, and so last surviving examples of a company's work should also receive preservation priority.

Information and Findings From Pennsylvania's Historic Bridge Inventory

Discussion of Bridge

The 1913, riveted, single span, 83'-long, Warren with verticals pony truss bridge is supported on ashlar abutments with flared wingwalls. The 5 panel trusses have built up box section upper chords and steel angle lower chords, verticals, and diagonals. The bridge has no innovative or distinctive details, and it reflects the standardization of the design. Nor is the fabricator significant. The technology was introduced into the state ca. 1895 and was well established by the time this bridge was built. Approximately 90 examples erected prior to 1910 survive throughout the Commonwealth. The bridge is not historically or technologically significant and it does not appear to be located in a significant setting.

Discussion of Surrounding Area

The bridge carries a 2 lane unimproved township road over a stream in a sparsely developed, forested setting.

Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: No


Photo Galleries and Videos: Bear Creek Bridge

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Maps and Links: Bear Creek Bridge

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