2 votes

Old Lea Bridge


Low oblique

Photo taken by Eddie Douthitt in December 2010


BH Photo #190783



Survey Report for Historic Bridges in Tennessee

Significant under Criterion C as representative Pratt pony trusses, for their patented connections, and as work by the Wrought Iron Bridge Company.

In October 1885 the Bradley County Court appointed a three-man committee to investigate building a bridge across Candy’s (Candies) Creek. In January 1886 the court agreed to build the bridge and in April the committee reported it had been completed at a cost of $2,000. This bridge was on the main road between Cleveland and Dayton that became State Route 83 in the 1920s. The state renumbered the road as State Route 60 in 1940 and rebuilt it in the late 1940s. At that time, the new alignment bypassed this bridge with a short road segment and it became a local road (Bradley County Court Minutes Volume 3:212, 250, 252, 266; Carver 1986a).

The Wrought Iron Bridge Company, whose agent was W. H. Converse, built the three-span bridge. Each span is an iron Pratt pony truss. The main span is 63 feet long and the secondary spans are 44 feet long. Sitting on a masonry substructure, the middle span is 7.0 feet tall and each flanking span is 5.0 feet tall. The curb to curb width is 11.3 feet, and the out to out width is 13.0 feet. Composition of the members is similar to that on the 1877 78 Dobbs Ford Bridge (#5, 06-A0184-00.64) as are the patented connections and “beaded T” angles. Top chords and end posts are channels with battens, bottom chords are paired rectilinear eyebars, posts are angles with cross lacing, diagonals are paired rectilinear eyerods and counters are single cylindrical tie rods. An unusual feature is the patented end connections (U.S. Commissioner Patents 1874:150152) of paired eyerods extending diagonally and the vertical end posts extending through the end cover where they are secured on the outside by nuts. Another unusual feature is the composition of the angles that make up the posts that have a bulb or beaded T on their outside edge. More difficult and expensive to manufacture than a normal angle, this feature was possibly intended to add stiffness. The Tennessee Department of Transportation, in cooperation with Bradley County and the Federal Highway Administration, replaced this bridge in 1988 and relocated the truss spans to a Cleveland city park. The city later gave the main span to the city of Collegedale for use on its greenway.


Pratt pony truss bridge over Wolftever Creek on Collegedale Greenway
Collegedale, Hamilton County, Tennessee
Open to pedestrians
Built 1886, moved to present location sometime in the late 1990's
- Wrought Iron Bridge Co. of Canton, Ohio
Pratt pony truss
Total length: 63.0 ft.
Deck width: 11.3 ft.
Also called
Collegedale Greenway Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+35.05423, -85.05263   (decimal degrees)
35°03'15" N, 85°03'09" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
16/677595/3880791 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Inventory number
BH 47378 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • November 27, 2016: Updated by Christopher Finigan: Added categories "Pin-connected", "Preserved"
  • March 12, 2016: New photo from Ben Tate
  • December 24, 2010: Essay added by Eddie Douthitt

Related Bridges 


  • Eddie Douthitt - dalton1861 [at] yahoo [dot] com
  • Ben Tate - benji5221 [at] yahoo [dot] com