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Grimms Bridge

   
                  


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Bridge Documented: July 4, 2006
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Key Facts
Bridge Name Facility Carried / Feature Intersected Location Structure Type Construction Date and Builder/Engineer
Grimms Bridge
Grimms Bridge Road (TR-1042) Over Little Beaver Creek Rural: Columbiana County, Ohio Metal 10 Panel Pin-Connected Whipple Through Truss, Fixed 1884 By Builder/Contractor: Wrought Iron Bridge Company of Canton, Ohio
Technical Facts
Rehabilitation Date Main Span Length Structure Length Roadway Width Main Spans NBI Number
1960 154 Feet (46.9 Meters) 155 Feet (47.2 Meters) 12 Feet (3.7 Meters) 1 1538241

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

View Archived National Bridge Inventory Report - Has Additional Details and Evaluation

This is a spectacular example of the Wrought Iron Bridge Company's work, a ten panel Whipple through truss with pinned connections. It is a fairly old structure as well, with an 1884 construction date. The bridge has been rehabilitated and as a result remains in good condition todat. Only 1.6 miles shy of being a Pennsylvania bridge, yet this Ohio bridge displays a completely different attitude toward how to treat metal truss bridges. Columbiana, despite demolishing a few bridges, is truss bridge paradise compared to how Pennsylvania treats historic truss bridges. Typical of Columbiana county, the rehabilitation of the Grimms Bridge included completely redoing the flooring system, and the deck is now a metal grate deck. Original lattice railings remain above the modern Armco railings. The bridge has been painted a silver/grey color. An uncommon style of v-lacing is present on the vertical members of the bridge. The lacing is not composed of rounded bars overlapping and sharing a single rivet, but instead a less common design of bars angled to line up with the edges of the vertical member channels are used, and each bar has two rivets at each end, and the bars do not overlap. The portal bracing is a lattice design. Builder plaques remain at both ends of the bridge, although a date plaque is missing in the center of the portal bracing at one end. The other end still has the date plaque though. The portal bracing design and the design of the plaques on it is a typical design for bridges built by the Wrought Iron Bridge Company during this period.

Information and Findings From Ohio's Historic Bridge Inventory

Setting/Context

The bridge carries a 1 lane road over a stream in a sparsely developed, rural setting.

Physical Description

The 1 span, 155'-long, pin-connected, Whipple thru truss bridge has built-up compression members and eyebar or rod tension members.

Integrity

Rehabilitated 1997, new floor, sandblasted and painted.

Summary of Significance

According to county records, the 1884 Whipple thru truss bridge had its stringers and deck replaced in 1997. It was painted. There was no adverse effect. The eligible recommendation of the prior inventory remains appropriate. It is a complete and technologically significant example of its type/design by a prominent Ohio fabricator.

Double-intersection Pratt trusses, also known as Whipple or Murphy-Whipple trusses, were among the most successful of long-span thru truss designs (up to 300' long) of the 1860s to 1890s for both railroad and vehicular crossings. Surviving examples are uncommon nationally and considered technologically significant; Ohio with at least 14 identified examples dating from 1881 to 1898 (Phase 1A survey, 2008) has a very high number in comparison to most other states. The truss design is characterized by diagonals that extend over two panels. In 1847, Squire Whipple, one of America's foremost bridge engineers, developed the design figuring that the double-intersection configuration increased the depth of panel without altering the optimal angle of the diagonals, thus allowing for increased span length. His design was further refined in 1859 by John W. Murphy, the talented chief engineer of Pennsylvania's Lehigh Valley RR, who substituted wrought-iron pins for cast-iron connecting pieces, thus developing the connection detail that would prove to be advanced construction practice for this and other truss designs for the next several decades. Ohio's surviving examples, which mostly date to the 1880s, were not cutting edge for their time, but they show how the form had evolved into the preferred long-span thru truss design of the period. Most have documented associations with prominent Ohio-based fabricators.

Justification

There are 13 examples of the bridge type important to the development and maturation of the pin-connected thru truss bridge. They date from 1881 and concentrated in the 1880s. Even though there are more than 12 extant examples in Ohio, each built in the 1880s has high significance based on overall scarcity (everywhere but in Ohio) of the design. This is a major and technologically significant bridge type. The bridge has high significance.

Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: Yes

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