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Bradford Creek Bridge



Photo taken by Ohio Historic Bridge Inventory in April 2009


BH Photo #512209


The bridge carries a private farm lane over a channelized stream in a rural area of active farms. The bridge is located approximately 200' east of Van Wagoner Road. The adjacent quadrants are cultivated fields. About 1/4 mile to the south is an abandoned one-room school house. The 1-span, pin-connected, 2-panel, 35'-long, half-hip Pratt pony truss bridge has been strengthened with the installation of four lines of steel I-beams with welded crossbracing to support the wood plank deck (ca. 1960). The stringers rest atop the truss floorbeam, so the trusses may still theoretically be supporting some load. The upper chord is composed of toe-out channels with cover plate and battens. The boxed ends of the upper chord extend beyond the inclined end post connection. Attached to the upper chord ends are cast-iron builders plaques with the inscription "Buckeye Bridge works, H. P. Hepburn Engineer, Cleveland, O." The vertical is composed of toe-out channels with lacing except for battens at the top and bottom of the vertical. The diagonals and lower chords are loop-welded eyebars. The lower-chord eyebars, especially on the downstream side, are sprung and warped. The rivets throughout the bridge have small, irregular heads indicating they were formed by hand, not by machine. The floorbeam is suspended from the lower-chord pin by a U-shaped hanger. The floorbeam extends well outside the truss lines, indicating it is either not original, or if it is, that the truss has been narrowed. The bridge is supported on concrete abutments. Deck system has been strengthened with the addition of four lines of beams. This does not appear to be the truss's original location by evidence of concrete abutments and overwide floorbeam. Lower chord eyebars are sprung. "The ca. 1885 pin-connected Pratt pony truss bridge is technologically significant as an early example of its type/design and the only identified truss in the inventory fabricated by the Buckeye Bridge Works of Cleveland, Ohio (May 2009) (Criterion C). The bridge is dated ca. 1885 based on style and the history of the company. Buckeye Bridge Works was active ca. 1870 to 1888. It was established by Mahlon Miller and William Jamieson, and it initially fabricated Miller's patented tubular bowstring trusses, which were built in several Midwestern states including Kansas and Nebraska. The Charlotte Highway Bridge, a pin-connected Pratt thru truss dated 1885 at Calhoun County Historic Bridge Park, Michigan, is another example of the firm's work. Buckeye Bridge Works appears to have gone out of business about 1888. This wrought-iron pony truss features the half-hip configuration with the boxed upper chords, a detail that was not typically used in the later development of standardized designs and may be characteristic of the work of this company. The truss has been strengthened with a replacement deck system but the truss lines and floorbeam connection remain complete. It retains sufficient integrity of design and materials to convey its technological significance. The bridge is an early example of a common bridge type, and it is documented to an in-state fabricator. While it has unique and rare details, it has been altered and that lowers it to moderate significance.


Abandoned half-hip Pratt pony truss bridge over Bradford Creek on Private Drive
Madison County, Ohio
Built ca. 1885 by the Buckeye Bridge Works
- Buckeye Bridge Works of Cleveland, Ohio
Half-hip Pratt pony truss
Span length: 35.0 ft.
Total length: 35.0 ft.
Approximate latitude, longitude
+39.81823, -83.38608   (decimal degrees)
39°49'06" N, 83°23'10" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
17/295775/4410307 (zone/easting/northing)
Inventory numbers
BH 95133 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • November 18, 2021: Added by Nathan Holth