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Ellis Cove Road Bridge

Ellis Cove Road Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: November 11, 2014

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Ellis Cove Road Over Battle Creek
Rural: Marion County, Tennessee: United States
Structure Type
Metal 6 Panel Pin-Connected Pratt Through Truss, Fixed and Approach Spans: Metal Stringer (Multi-Beam), Fixed
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1891 By Builder/Contractor: King Bridge Company of Cleveland, Ohio

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Main Span Length
110 Feet (33.5 Meters)
Structure Length
130 Feet (39.6 Meters)
Roadway Width
12 Feet (3.66 Meters)
1 Main Span(s) and 2 Approach Span(s)
NBI Number
Not Applicable

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)
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Bridge Documentation

This bridge was built in an unknown location in 1891, and moved to this location ca. 1930. Today, the bridge has been bypassed by a modern bridge and the truss span was left standing. The deck and stringer approach spans were removed however.

The bridge suffers from a number of alterations. One is quite severe, and is the removal and replacement of the original ornamental portal bracing with an simple welded one in the 1990s. Other notable alterations/repairs, many of a crude or unusual nature were observed. Supplemental rods and cables were added for the hip verticals. Although the original u-bolt hangers for the floor beams remain, no less than four supplements of two different varieties were added. Two straps of metal bar were placed around the floor beam and welded onto the verticals. And then two rods were similarly attached to the bridge. These were crude repairs, for example the bars are not all the same length. The irony is that these crude alterations likely had a greater chance of failure than the original u-bolts did.

Despite these alterations, the original (and beautiful) riveted fishbelly style floorbeams (an item often replaced over the years on a truss bridge) remain intact on the bridge.

What is frustrating is the replacement of the portal bracing apparently happened in the 1990s shortly before the bridge was abandoned. It would have been nice if the bridge was bypassed before this alteration took place!

According to the Tennessee DOT, Tennessee has determined that this bridge is eligible for the National Register of Historic Places because of its former decorative features, and the fact that it was moved, intact, to its present location almost 40 years after its manufacture, and was still in service almost 60 years after that.

Based on a description of the original portal bracing and the below historical photo taken ca. 1940 showing the bridge in its current location with intact portal bracing, deck, and approach spans, it is assumed that the portal bracing was the same as on the Furnas Mill Bridge in Indiana.


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