Thursday, January 8, 2009

West Orange Bridge

This is a sideview of the bridge in early spring.

West Orange Road Bridge

This is a (fall) painting of our historic bridge on West Orange Road, where we live. This bridge is soon to be removed and replaced by a two-lane bridge. This will affect our scenic river valley, by taking out the mature trees and making way for concrete and clay.

This one-lane "bridge was built in 1898 by the Toledo Bridge Company (which was originally the Smith Bridge Company). Abutments are original stone at the west end of the bridge, while the east end of the bridge has a concrete abutment. The bridge retains a remarkable amount of historic integrity, including original floor beams and lattice railings, as well as builder and commissioner plaques remaining on the bridge. The bridge is a nine panel structure. It features attractive v-lacing on the sway bracing, under the top chord / end post, as well as on the vertical members. Lattice is present on the portal bracing and on the railings.

The Orange Road Bridge is a very long example of a single-span pin-connected Pratt through truss. It is uncommon to find a traditional late 19th century pin-connected Pratt truss at this length. As a function of its length, it features taller, impressive trusses that feature a more complex network of sway bracing that more commonly shows up in a Whipple truss.

The first section of bottom chord (between the end post and the hip vertical) is not the standard eye bar but is instead an unusual built-up beam that has an unusual form of v-lacing. Historic bridge expert David Simmons believes that this is due to the unique elevated position of the bridge, relative to the approaching road. He believe that the Toledo Bridge Company did this to add support to the bridge as the angle at which vehicles would enter the bridge would be different due to the elevated position." (Taken from