Rating:
2 votes

Fabius Creek Bridge

Photos 

Fabius Creek Bridge on Fawn Avenue

Photo taken by Chris Gonnerman in April 2012

License: Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike (CC BY-SA)

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BH Photo #229167

Map 

Facts 

Overview
Through truss bridge over Fabius Creek on Fawn Avenue
Location
Davis County, Iowa
Status
Intact but closed to public traffic (road appears to be private now)
History
Built ca. 1890
Design
6 panel pin-connected Warren through truss with A-frame portal bracing
Dimensions
Length of largest span: 89.9 ft.
Total length: 108.9 ft.
Deck width: 15.4 ft.
Vertical clearance above deck: 12.0 ft.
Approximate latitude, longitude
+40.63956, -92.54264   (decimal degrees)
40°38'22" N, 92°32'34" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
15/538673/4498846 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
West Grove
Land survey
T. 68 N., R. 15 W., Sec. 36
Average daily traffic (as of 2010)
20
Inventory numbers
IA 134250 (Iowa bridge number)
BH 13316 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection report (as of June 2011)
Overall condition: Poor
Superstructure condition rating: Critical (2 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Serious (3 out of 9)
Deck condition rating: Poor (4 out of 9)
View more at BridgeReports.com

Update Log 

  • April 9, 2012: Updated by Chris Gonnerman: Changed owner to "other private."
  • April 9, 2012: Updated by Luke Harden: Added category "A-frame portal"
  • April 9, 2012: Updated by Jason Smith: The portal bracing is A-frame
  • April 6, 2012: Updated by Luke Harden: Added categories "6-panel truss", "Pin-connected"
  • April 6, 2012: Updated by Chris Gonnerman: Updated bridge truss description and status.

Sources 

  • Chris Gonnerman
  • Jason Smith - flensburg [dot] bridgehunter [dot] av [at] googlemail [dot] com

Comments 

Fabius Creek Bridge
Posted April 9, 2012, by Chris Gonnerman (chris [at] gonnerman [dot] org)

I see your point. Note that the center diagonals are technically compression rather than tension members; this is consistent with a Warren truss. I still suspect the bridge builder had looked at some Thacher-derived trusses when designing this one... those center diagonals look almost exactly like the ones I've seen on the Thacher derivatives. Parts-wise, it's a bit of a mashup.

So I'll change the truss description to correspond to that type.

Fabius Creek Bridge
Posted April 9, 2012, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Yeah...just a Warren with verticals and unusually heavy diagonals in the center panels.

This again proves that I shouldn't look at (and comment on) truss types when I am tired!

Fabius Creek Bridge
Posted April 9, 2012, by Nathan Holth

The Thacher truss is, as I understand, characterized by diagonal members that are not parallel to each other. The eyebar/tension diagonals would be expected to be longer in length than the built-up compression diagonals, as I found to be the case with the Ellsworth Ranch Bridge mentioned below. This Fabius Creek Bridge does not appear to display these characteristics. The only thing "out of order" that I observe on this bridge is that the center vertical member appears to be an eyebar/tension member, which is off. But aside from that, wouldn't this bridge just be a pin-connected Warren truss? It looks like the Dietzenbach Bottom Bridge http://www.historicbridges.org/bridges/browser/?bridgebrowse...

Fabius Creek Bridge
Posted April 7, 2012, by Chris Gonnerman (chris [at] gonnerman [dot] org)

Just a bit more, if you don't mind. I found the information about Thacher trusses (particularly the patent situation) here:

http://www.historicbridges.org/bridges/browser/?bridgebrowse...

Fabius Creek Bridge
Posted April 7, 2012, by Chris Gonnerman (chris [at] gonnerman [dot] org)

Actually, now that I've looked up Thatcher trusses, I realize that this is just another modification of the type. According to some information I found on a few other sites, the Thacher truss was patented, and no examples of the actual patent-original design still exist; but apparently, "almost" copying the design wasn't that uncommon. I'm guessing the bridge builder, taken with the Thacher design, used common Pratt components at the ends but swapped the usual crossing eyerods with Thacher-style braces in the middle two panels.

Is this enough, do you think, to reclassify this as a Thacher truss for purposes of this site?

Fabius Creek Bridge
Posted April 6, 2012, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

This bridge almost looks as though someone took a Thacher truss and tinkered with it and this was the result...very interesting!

Fabius Creek Bridge
Posted April 6, 2012, by Chris Gonnerman (chris [at] gonnerman [dot] org)

I don't know what to make of this bridge. On the surface it looks like a common pin-connected Pratt truss, but the angled members in the center two panels are rigid and arranged to bear both tension and compression loads (as in a Warren truss).

I called it a Pratt, but I'm not at all sure that's correct. But it's sure cool.