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Linville Creek Bridge

Linville Creek Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: May 21, 2017

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
VA-1421 (Old Alignment) Over Linville Creek
Broadway: Rockingham County, Virginia: United States
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1898 By Builder/Contractor: Wrought Iron Bridge Company of Canton, Ohio

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Not Available or Not Applicable
Main Span Length
136 Feet (41.5 Meters)
Structure Length
136 Feet (41.5 Meters)
Roadway Width
10.8 Feet (3.29 Meters)
1 Main Span(s)
NBI Number

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)
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Bridge Documentation

View Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) Documentation For This Bridge

HAER Data Pages, PDF

View Edwin Thacher's Patent For This Truss Configuration

View Historical Articles About Edwin Thacher

This bridge is an example of one of the rarest truss configurations in the country, the Thacher truss as patented by Edwin Thacher. Fortunately this bridge was preserved in place for pedestrian use following construction of a new bridge for vehicular traffic immediately north of the bridge. The old alignment of the highway still serves some area residences and the road sign shows the name of the road as Thatcher Bridge Lane. Presumably this name was meant to honor the truss bridge's design, however it is spelled wrong because Edwin Thacher did not spell his name like that. This is proven by reviewing the original patent for the truss configuration.

Although its been stolen or otherwise gone missing, this bridge originally had a plaque on it listing the Wrought Iron Bridge Company with building this bridge in 1898. This date is a bit of a mystery. The bridge's obscure truss configuration, and use of cast iron connection assemblies that are not found on other Wrought Iron Bridge Company bridges (a company that often used the same design repeatedly) would appear to be the work of a much earlier bridge such as during the 1880s when more experimentation was ongoing with truss design. By 1898, indeed the final years before the company was absorbed into the American Bridge Company, truss bridges usually had a much more standard design. It is not known why this bridge has such unusual design details with an 1898 date. Although it is pure speculation without evidence, it is possible that this bridge was salvaged from another location and resold by the Wrought Iron Bridge Company in 1898, and this would mean the actual truss is older.


Photo Galleries and Videos: Linville Creek Bridge

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