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Rock Island Railroad Bridge

Rock Island Railroad Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: November 11, 2014

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Railroad (Caney Fork and Western) Over Caney Fork River
Location
Rock Island: Warren County, Tennessee and White County, Tennessee: United States
Structure Type
Metal 7 Panel Pin-Connected Warren Deck Truss, Fixed and Approach Spans: Metal 2 Panel Pin-Connected Kingpost Deck Truss, Fixed
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1872 By Builder/Contractor: Louisville Bridge and Iron Company of Louisville, Kentucky

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
1922
Main Span Length
210 Feet (64 Meters)
Structure Length
Not Available
Roadway Width
Not Available
Spans
4 Main Span(s)
NBI Number
Not Applicable

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)
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Bridge Documentation

This bridge has multiple areas of high significance, which combine to make it one of the most significant railroad bridges in the state. First, the bridge's main spans are rare examples of pin-connected Warren trusses. Pratt trusses were far more common than Warren trusses during the pin-connected era. Warren trusses became popular only after the riveted connection was popular. This bridge's Warren truss spans are configured as two larger spans which are arranged so that the bridge bears on short piers at the bottom chord, and two shorter spans which bear on tall piers at the top chord.

Another notable detail of the Warren trusses is that a third truss line was added to this bridge at a later date in between the original truss lines which would have strengthened the bridge. The third truss line is of heavier construction, indicating its newer construction, but is riveted and uses pin-connections, indicating this is a very old alteration, such that the alteration itself has historic significance.

As rare as the Warren truss spans are, the bridge's approach spans are even more rare and are pin-connected Kingpost deck truss spans. The Kingpost truss configuration is one of the rarest truss configurations among surviving bridges, and it is usually found on highway bridges and as a pony truss. As such, the railroad deck truss Kingpost spans are doubly rare. Frustratingly, these spans are absolutely buried behind trees and are hard to view and photograph even in the winter.

The Kingpost spans did not appear to have a third truss line added like the Warren truss spans.

Although the construction date is not known, this appears to be a very old (1880s?) railroad truss bridge. The unusual truss configuration and lightweight members are one indication of this.

This bridge's main spans including addition of a third truss line are similar to Big Hickory Creek Railroad Bridge

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Photo Galleries and Videos: Rock Island Railroad Bridge

 
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Maps and Links: Rock Island Railroad Bridge

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