|Bridge Name||Facility Carried / Feature Intersected||Location||Structure Type||Construction Date and Builder/Engineer|
Wabash Road Bridge
||Wabash Road Over Cocalico Creek||Rural: Lancaster County, Pennsylvania||Metal 10 Panel Rivet-Connected Warren Pony Truss, Fixed||1936 By Builder/Contractor: Unknown|
|Main Span Length||Structure Length||Roadway Width||Main Spans||NBI Number|
|102 Feet (31.1 Meters)||104 Feet (31.7 Meters)||19.4 Feet (5.9 Meters)||1||36721006690503|
This bridge is a somewhat late example of a metal truss highway bridge in Pennsylvania. Most truss bridges being built by the 1930s were built to a state standard plan. This bridge does not appear to conform to a state standard plan, however, and instead appears to be a county-designed bridge. This is not the only example of this style and vintage truss in Lancaster County, further evidence that this was a county design.
Lancaster County is unusual because it has far more covered bridges (all preserved) than metal truss bridges, even though covered bridges are from an older era, and are not built of materials that are more durable than a metal truss bridge. The rust on this truss indicates that a preservation commitment is not in place for this bridge. The outdated "not historic" finding for this bridge by the Historic Bridge Inventory needs to be rejected, and this historic bridge should be restored and preserved just like the dozens of covered bridges in this county.
Information and Findings From Pennsylvania's Historic Bridge Inventory
Discussion of Bridge
The single span, 104'-long, rivet-connected Warren with verticals pony truss bridge built in 1936 is supported on concrete abutments with flared wingwalls. The truss members are builtup of standard steel sections. Channel railings are set to the inside faces of the trusses. Rolled floorbeams and stringers carry an open steel grid deck. The bridge has been altered by steel plate welded to the lower chords, upper chords, inclined end posts, and gusset plates (ca. 1970). The Warren truss design emerged as one of the most commonly used truss designs after 1895 because of advances in metallurgy and the mid-1890s improvements to field pneumatic riveting. The result was a rapid shift from pinned to riveted connections and the Warren design was particularly well suited for rigid connections. Over 125 examples of the type/design have been identified in the state from the late 1890s to 1956. This late example has no noteworthy features or details. It has been altered by welded repairs. The bridge is not historically or technologically distinguished by its setting or context.
Discussion of Surrounding Area
The bridge carries a 2 lane road over a stream in a rural area of active farms and scattered late 20th century residences. At the eastern quadrant is an altered mid 19th century vernacular farmhouse. At the southwest quadrant is a modern light industrial building. The setting does not have the cohesiveness or integrity of a historic district.
Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: Yes
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