3 votes

Warnke Covered Bridge 35-68-14



Photo taken June 2005 by Jack Schmidt

BH Photo #108433

Street View 


Built in 1896[SIC] to replace an iron bridge. It was probably the last covered bridge built by Sherman, who passed away shortly after its completion. http://www.pchs.preblecounty.com/bridges.html


Covered bridge over Swamp Creek on Swamp Creek Road (TR 403)
Preble County, Ohio
Open to traffic
Built 1895, being restored 2008
- E.S. Sherman
Covered Childs through truss
Length of largest span: 45.9 ft.
Total length: 52.2 ft.
Deck width: 15.7 ft.
Vertical clearance above deck: 13.2 ft.
Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on October 8, 1976
Also called
Swamp Creek Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+39.87383, -84.51483   (decimal degrees)
39°52'26" N, 84°30'53" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
16/712535/4416710 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Average daily traffic (as of 2015)
Inventory numbers
ODOT 6837344 (Ohio Dept. of Transportation structure file number)
WGCB 35-68-14 (World Guide to Covered Bridges number)
NRHP 76001518 (National Register of Historic Places reference number)
BH 28293 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection report (as of June 2018)
Overall condition: Fair
Superstructure condition rating: Satisfactory (6 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Satisfactory (6 out of 9)
Deck condition rating: Excellent (9 out of 9)
Sufficiency rating: 44.5 (out of 100)
View more at BridgeReports.com


19th Century (9,385)
Built 1895 (297)
Built during 1890s (3,360)
Childs truss (15)
Covered (2,991)
E.S. Sherman (12)
Have street view (30,136)
NR-listed (3,027)
Ohio (4,943)
One-lane traffic (8,090)
Open (41,351)
Owned by county (21,905)
Preble County, Ohio (75)
Span length 25-50 feet (16,440)
Through truss (18,516)
Total length 50-75 feet (9,805)
Truss (37,697)
Wooden deck (6,245)

Update Log 

  • April 14, 2018: New photos from Richard Doody
  • December 12, 2015: New photos from Jack Schmidt
  • March 19, 2014: Photo imported by Dave King
  • March 15, 2014: Updated by Dave King: Added street view & imported photo
  • November 12, 2010: New photo from Eric Root
  • August 3, 2010: New photos from Anthony Dillon
  • October 24, 2008: New photo from Bill Eichelberger
  • July 23, 2008: New photos from Anthony Dillon
  • April 10, 2006: Posted photo from Jack Schmidt



Warnke Covered Bridge
Posted November 16, 2010, by Will (Bridgewright [at] gmail [dot] com)

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.

Warnke Covered Bridge
Posted November 13, 2010, by Eric Root (ejort [at] att [dot] net)

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.

Warnke Covered Bridge
Posted November 13, 2010, by Anthony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

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.

Warnke Covered Bridge
Posted November 12, 2010, by Will (Bridgewright [at] gmail [dot] com)

Is it the percentage of materials replaced or the caliber of the work which makes it feel like the proverbial ax? Got pix ?

Warnke Covered Bridge
Posted November 12, 2010, by Eric Root (ejort [at] att [dot] net)

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"