My only regret is that it took me so long to realize how much I loved bridges.
It seems like a lot of folks on here had their realization early on in life that they had an affinity for the subtle beauty of bridges. Me? Not so much. I always had a fascination with bridges growing up, primarily covered bridges. However it was merely a passing interest in their historical nature, concepts like differing truss styles never even occurring to me. I would always go out of my way to see covered bridges however, and it was a daily delight that my daily commute to college required crossing a covered bridge
During my college years for my photography course I did a segment on bridges, cataloging what are now to me gems, such as Vermont’s longest Paddleford Truss covered bridge, the Sanborn Bridge in Lyndonville, VT. Again though, my interest was primarily in the bridges historical nature and all the details of the bridge otherwise being lost on me.
Then one day in the summer of 2013 everything changed.
I was driving in northeastern Vermont, just cruising about. On the Vermont roadmap there was a historical marker in Highgate falls for a “parabolic bridge”. I was close by, and I was curious what a parabolic bridge was, so we made course for the small town. My minds eye determined that this “parabolic” bridge was some modern creation, as a shape like that is never something I would expect to be old.
While driving along I spotted an old bypassed metal bridge, and decided to stop. As I approached the bridge it dawned on me that it was unlike any old metal bridge I had ever seen, as it wasn’t trapezoidal like all the other bridges I was used to. It then dawned on me, admiring the distinctive upper and lower chords, that this was the parabolic bridge that I was searching for. As I began to cross the bridge I looked up at the Berlin Iron Bridge Co. builders plaque, I was stopped by the build date: 1887
How could such an beautiful, gracefully elegant, and complicated bridge have been built in 1887? It didn’t make any sense to me at the time (Mind you I grew up in Vermont, where covered bridges continued to be constructed well into the early 1900’s, so I had no experience with early iron bridges). I became obsessed with this bridge, slowly learning the distinctions of the truss type, concepts such as pin-connected versus riveted, and terms such as “hangers” and “chords”.
Since then my life hasn't been the same. As I learned of the lenticular truss I had to learn about other trusses (as the lenticular truss can employ either Pratt or Warren webbing), and my interest branched out to the truss bridges. I now enjoy investigating and cataloging all types of truss bridges, metal or wooden with a mostly equal level, with a continued special interest in the lenticular truss.
Happy bridge hunting!
South Washington Street Parabolic BridgeSouth Washington Street Parabolic Bridge (Broome County, New York)
Kinderhook Creek BridgeKinderhook Creek Bridge (Columbia County, New York)
Water Street BridgeWater Street Bridge (Cortland County, New York)
Bardwell's Ferry BridgeBardwell's Ferry Bridge (Franklin County, Massachusetts)
Keeseville Suspension BridgeKeeseville Suspension Bridge (Essex County, New York)
Pineground BridgePineground Bridge (Merrimack County, New Hampshire)
Yaleville Road BridgeYaleville Road Bridge (St. Lawrence County, New York)
Livermore Falls BridgeLivermore Falls Bridge (Grafton County, New Hampshire)
Grantville Road BridgeGrantville Road Bridge (St. Lawrence County, New York)
Delage Farm Road BridgeIron Furnace Bridge (Grafton County, New Hampshire)
Old Elm Ridge Road BridgeOld Elm Ridge Road Bridge (Jefferson County, New York)
Aiken Street BridgeAiken Street Bridge (Middlesex County, Massachusetts)
That's a Groton Bridge Co. production, I'd guess around 1890 based on the design details . The portal cresting is unusual, don't think I've ever seen that style used before.
Great find as always Dana!
Another success for New Hampshire's war on the legacy of John Storrs. With this we're pretty much down to the Anna Hunt, which will be coming up for replacement in the next few years http://bridgehunter.com/nh/cheshire/12500410004000/
Given how things are going I'm getting much less optimistic about the possibility of preservation.
This is a loss on several other levels, as an increasingly rare multi-span through truss, a rare product of the American Bridge/United Bridge duo, and as a survivor (2/3rds anyways) of the flood of 1936.
I think one of the problems is that this isn't a 'real' covered bridge, as it looks the National Bridge Inventory identifies this as a pre-stressed concrete beam. There are quite a few of these around, and it gets kinda tricky to assign a genuine covered bridge truss type to them as they generally are more stylized and only loosely conform to the real patterns.
Generally I try to avoid assigning historic truss types to these as I feel that it might muddy the waters for others researching/visiting genuine covered bridges. For example this one up in my neck of the woods: http://bridgehunter.com/ny/essex/kissing/ has a resemblance to a Town Lattice, but since it doesn't work as one and is only decorative I think its inappropriate to pass it off as such. Instead I simply identify it as a covered plate girder, since the actual bridge is a plate girder type. Therefore on yours I would refer to that as a Covered stringer bridge, with a notation that the roof support has a truss like appearance, as it doesn't directly conform to any genuine type.
Hope that helps!
Found a video from Alpine Construction of them putting this bridge back in place during its 2016 rehabilitation:
In my site visit I found the trusses themselves to be in very good shape for how long this bridge has been closed. As you can see in the pictures there is no signs of stress deflection/deformation in the members, and no rust/rot problems. Newspaper articles from when it was closed were not explicit about the problems this bridge had, other then it was 'unsafe'. Couldn't have been that bad, as the bridge has stood for over 30 years since its closure.
Is it just me or does that lenticular looks...off. From what I can figure, its missing an entire panel on one side. The end abutting against the covered bridge looks normal enough with the upper and lower chords meeting and the portal bracing offset. The other end has the portal bracing directly on the end, and the lower and upper chord don't come anywhere near meeting.
I'd be curious how this one came to be built like this. Maybe this was a recycled bridge cut down to fit a shorter crossing'?
Nice find Luke! Its quite interesting to see more of the Texas variety of the Lenticulars unearthed
I agree, more research is needed. But a quick thought on the width though, as I considered that as well: Since the line was operating on a curve, it would have to be wider to accommodate it. I've seen a few other examples in my time where a through railraod bridge was wider then normal to accommodate a curvature.
But either way it was definitely built for some use of the factory complex that was here.
Well, its probably something to do with both of us having an affinity for the lenticular bridges :) The second I saw a notation of a lost Lenticular bridge on the successor bridge page I started looking for any info on it...looks like we came to the same sources!
I checked out some old aerial imagery. It looks like there used to be a spur line that curved off the adjacent rail line and crossed the river to serve a factory on Water Street.
I couldn't see any time that it was used for road use though, so I can't speculate as to when or why it was paved over.
Its a long time, but we can still be optimistic. We've had a Leneticular pony up here in VT has been in storage for 21 years now, but we are on schedule to have it reused on a pedestrian path within the next 3 years. Hope they can find a home for this one sooner!
I hope you can get out to Niobe Dana, I'm incredibly curious about that one. If it wasn't such a long haul from VT I'd throw the kayak on the car and check it out!
I've still got a couple lenticulars I'm working on getting confirmation for location/existence, and a couple of abandoned bridges in the Upstate to confirm as well, so I'll keep them coming :)
Thanks for getting out to this one so fast Dana! Glad to see and hear that's it's still in good condition. Now if only we could get it rehabilitated and preserved...
Found the saved trusses of this bridge. Looks like they are at an old town dump:
Always happy to add an extant Lenticular pony truss, even if it is abandoned! While looking for info online I was also happy to find that the HistoricBridges team has already documented this bridge. Pictures and info here: