This bridge was one of a few unusual bridges in Southwest Pennsylvania that were very small span examples of a Parker pony truss. This similar bridge in Greene County was attributed to the Penn Bridge Company of Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania. The Oldham Bridge was located near a ghost town of Crumb. At the time it was replaced, the bridge was in an extremely rural location. Roads leading to the bridge were narrow, and highly unimproved, primitive gravel roads. This bridge would have been a perfect candidate for low-cost rehabilitation for continued vehicular use. Very few cars used the bridge. However it was demolished and replaced using tax dollars largely for the benefit of a single company that wanted the convenience of driving trucks over the bridge. Options to leave the historic bridge standing next to a replacement bridge were soundly rejected, even though nothing is around the bridge and there was therefore plenty of room for such an option.
Information and Findings From Pennsylvania's Historic Bridge Inventory
Discussion of Bridge
The 49'-long and 12' wide riveted Parker pony truss built in 1908 is supported on ashlar abutments with flared wingwalls. The upper chords and inclined end posts are angles with cover plate, and the verticals are angles with battens. The field connections are bolted, a common 1900s detail for light truss bridges. The original lattice railings are inside the truss lines. The bridge appears to be complete, but it has no innovative or distinctive details. The Parker design is a variation on the Pratt truss. This is a short and undistinguished example of its type. Neither the bridge nor its setting are historically or technologically significant.
Discussion of Surrounding Area
The bridge carries 1 lane of an unimproved township road over a stream on state forest lands.
Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: Initially No, But Later Reevaluated As Eligible
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This historic bridge has been demolished. This map is shown for reference purposes only.
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