This bridge is a very old wrought iron truss bridge with an 1881 construction date. However, this bridge's extremely high level of historic significance arises from its highly unusual, if not unique, truss arrangement. First, the bridge features vertical endposts, yet is NOT a bedstead. Pony truss bridges with vertical end posts are very rare. Even more rare and unusual however is this bridge's bottom chord, which within the end panels runs from its standard position below directly up to the top chord / end post connection. As such, there is no bridge material between the first bottom chord connection and the bottom of the end post. This design of bridge may be one of the last examples of its type in the country.
The bridge retains a high degree of historic integrity. The main alteration is the railings on the bridge which are not original. However everything else on the bridge appears to be remarkably complete and unaltered.
This is a very small bridge with an extremely high level of historic significance. Thankfully, this bridge became one of the first metal truss bridges in southwestern Pennsylvania to be relocated and preserved for pedestrian use. The bridge is located in a secluded picnic area, allowing people to view the bridge will having a picnic. This process is an outstanding way to give historic metal truss bridges new life and functional use, and it is hoped this project will serve to inspire similar projects elsewhere in southwestern Pennsylvania.
Information and Findings From Pennsylvania's Historic Bridge Inventory
Discussion of Bridge
The single-span, 47'-long, pin-connected Pratt pony truss bridge was built in 1881 according to the plaque, and it has vertical end posts and the floor beams placed above the lower chords. The trusses are traditionally composed, but the basic shape of the truss lines with the squared end posts and absence of lower chords in the end panels results in the need for vertical posts to transmit the reactions to the abutments. It is an archaic and uncommon design. The design does concentrate section at the middle of the truss where bending is the greatest. The bridge is historically and technologically significant based on its date of construction and design. It reflects the period of experimentation that characterized the early days of metal truss development.
Discussion of Surrounding Area
The bridge carries a single-lane road with horizontally curved approaches over a stream in a sparsely developed, wooded setting.
Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: Yes
This bridge is tagged with the following special condition(s): Unorganized Photos
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