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Blackburn Point Road Bridge

   
                  


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Bridge Documented: March 23, 2010
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Key Facts
Bridge Name Facility Carried / Feature Intersected Location Structure Type Construction Date and Builder/Engineer
Blackburn Point Road Bridge
Blackburn Point Road (CR-789) Over Gulf Intracoastal Waterway Osprey: Sarasota County, Florida Metal Rivet-Connected Warren Pony Truss, Movable: Swing (Center Pier) 1925 By Builder/Contractor: Unknown
Technical Facts
Rehabilitation Date Main Span Length Structure Length Roadway Width Main Spans NBI Number
1995 142 Feet (43.3 Meters) 142 Feet (43.3 Meters) 15.7 Feet (4.8 Meters) 1 170064

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)

Primary Photographer(s): Rick McOmber

This bridge is one of a small number of surviving swing truss bridges in Florida. Among this small number there is considerable variety, but a few of them appear to share the same standard plan. The Blackburn Point Road Bridge is an example of that standard plan. The design consists of trusses with rolled i-beams for the top chord and end post. Diagonal and vertical members are all built-up beams composed of two angles and battens. There is no v-lacing or lattice on any built-up beams.

The Blackburn Point Road Bridge in particular has an unusual detail that was observed. All the shop rivets (those rivets placed before the bridge parts were shipped to the site) have cone-shaped rivet heads. This design is nearly unheard of in bridge truss construction, although these rivets were used in boiler and tank construction as well as occasionally in caisson construction. In contrast, those rivets on the bridge placed in the field (during on-site assembly) are the standard round-head rivets.

This swing bridge still operates for boats.

The bridge has been rehabilitated, and some rivets were replaced with bolts and there are other welded repairs and alterations present. Otherwise however, the bridge retains its original appearance and design. Among the surviving truss swing bridges in Florida, this one appears to be one of the best in terms of structural condition. The bridge is only considered functionally obsolete in the National Bridge Inventory (because it is a narrow, one-lane bridge) but is not listed structurally deficient. Florida has an extremely small number of historic metal truss bridges. The preservation of each surviving example must be considered essential.

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Photos and Videos: Blackburn Point Road Bridge

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