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Jefferson Railroad Bridge

Jefferson Railroad Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: October 12, 2019

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Key Facts

Jefferson: Marion County, Texas: United States
Structure Type
Metal 5 Panel Pin-Connected Howe Through Truss, Fixed and Approach Spans: Wood Slab, Fixed
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1897 By Builder/Contractor: Phoenix Bridge Company of Phoenixville, Pennsylvania

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Not Available or Not Applicable
Main Span Length
130 Feet (39.6 Meters)
Structure Length
Not Available
Roadway Width
Not Available
1 Main Span(s)
NBI Number
Not Applicable

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)
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Bridge Documentation

This is an extremely rare example of a Howe railroad truss bridge. In fact, to find a Howe truss especially dating to after the period of experimentation where unusual trusses were more common is so unusual it begs the question as to why this bridge is a Howe truss. It is possible the span was salvaged and adapted from another bridge and moved here. For example, half of a swing bridge, properly altered into a single fixed span might end up looking like a Howe truss. This is just speculation. There is evidence that the portal bracing knees on this bridge have been altered slightly however otherwise the bridge appears unaltered. But if it was moved or altered long ago when rivets and v-lacing were still in use, it may be difficult to detect any alterations. In any case, the bridge is a mystery, with no apparant reason for using the archiac Howe truss configuration on a short span through truss built in 1897. In either case the bridge today is a fascinating and very rare example of a Howe truss bridge. The bridge is also a rare example of a railroad bridge that was bypassed and not demolished. The bridge is today a local landmark and a park setting surrounds the bridge. The bridge features colored lightinhg displays at night as well.

Span length given is an estimate.



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