Wooden through trusses do sometimes survive despite neglect. But it is the exception and makes for very expensive rehabilitations, these sometimes still performed poorly by crews without the necessary skill sets.
Though the service life is longer, siding is, like roofing and flooring, a maintenance item which requires occasional replacement.
Were the nailers applied to the trusses directly or were were they set on spacers to allow evaporation of future leaks?
Such as this nailer being spaced away from the Chord. Notice also that the Bolsters do not sit directly on the granite pedestal, but are separated from it by sacrificial blocks, and that likewise the Chords are separated from them by graduated blocks in part to deal with camber, but all are also placed to encourage and allow for air flow and evaporation.
Maybe the "grandfather's axe" comment was an exaggeration. These bridges look like they have been restored very well, and if maintained I can see them making their bicentennial and beyond. But while I don't like seeing a bridge deteriorate, I tend to like a bridge on which I can see the years. I think that is why I like so many of the older trusses I see. They're still there - not because they've been cared for but in spite of the abuse and apathy that's come their way thus far. Sadly it's the apathy, and the accompanying wrecking crew the counties send out that get's them in the end.
I have visited all of the Preble County Childs truss bridges this year, which have all been restored courtesy of a large national grant that the county received. I think the workmanship on these spans was excellent overall. They did replace all siding and roofing along with major upgrades on the flooring systems to bring up the load limits. I saw very little evidence of truss member replacement, as this county has always done a good job with keeping the siding intact and the trusses dry and sound. They certainly do have a "bright and shiny" look about them, but to me once you walk inside you feel like you are in the 1890's.
Now I want to see Preble County step up and start giving the same respect to it's nice collection of metal spans. They tore down a nice pinned Pratt over the summer, and plan on scrapping another pony this fall (may have already happened). These bridges can also be rehabbed to perform adequately for the roads they are on.
Is it the percentage of materials replaced or the caliber of the work which makes it feel like the proverbial ax? Got pix ?
Stopped by Warnke and Geeting covered bridges yesterday. Both have been restored in the last few years. I don't know what to make of them. They don't "feel" old. I wonder how much is original vs replaced. They make me think of the "grandfather's axe" paradox- i.e. "this is my grandfather's axe. My father replaced the haft, and I put a new head on it"