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Author Topic: What is your opinion on old/historic truss bridges?  (Read 3302 times)

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What is your opinion on old/historic truss bridges?
« on: January 10, 2017, 10:58:52 AM »

What is your opinion on old/historic truss bridges? Should they be scrapped and replaced in favor of more advanced bridges, removed from service and turned into pedestrian bridges, or should they be maintained, preserved, and kept safe?

Personally, I'm not a fan of all the truss bridges going away. I wasn't very pleased when I heard NCDOT left the very last Pennsylvania truss in the state to rot. NCDOT hates truss bridges with a passion.
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Re: What is your opinion on old/historic truss bridges?
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2017, 12:45:18 PM »

What is your opinion on old/historic truss bridges? Should they be scrapped and replaced in favor of more advanced bridges, removed from service and turned into pedestrian bridges, or should they be maintained, preserved, and kept safe?

Personally, I'm not a fan of all the truss bridges going away. I wasn't very pleased when I heard NCDOT left the very last Pennsylvania truss in the state to rot. NCDOT hates truss bridges with a passion.

I'd imagine a lot of DOTs groan when they have to deal with truss bridges.  I know NYSDOT does as well.  The problem is the cost of maintenance and replacement when the things finally give out.
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Re: What is your opinion on old/historic truss bridges?
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2017, 01:44:36 PM »

What is your opinion on old/historic truss bridges? Should they be scrapped and replaced in favor of more advanced bridges, removed from service and turned into pedestrian bridges, or should they be maintained, preserved, and kept safe?

Personally, I'm not a fan of all the truss bridges going away. I wasn't very pleased when I heard NCDOT left the very last Pennsylvania truss in the state to rot. NCDOT hates truss bridges with a passion.

I'd imagine a lot of DOTs groan when they have to deal with truss bridges.  I know NYSDOT does as well.  The problem is the cost of maintenance and replacement when the things finally give out.

I can see what you mean here. The extra money and time required to maintain these bridges could be much more than just tearing the thing down and building a new one.
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Re: What is your opinion on old/historic truss bridges?
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2017, 06:19:22 PM »

Cherry Hill Road over Deer Creek at Maryland's Rocks State Park is one, and even though it's a bit nerve-wracking for me to drive over, I still like that bridge a lot and think it has many more years left in it.
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Re: What is your opinion on old/historic truss bridges?
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2017, 03:05:46 PM »

I love old truss bridges, and I hate to see them go. Bridges age, and they become structurally deficient and will eventually have to be replaced. However, I want to preserve them if possible, even if motor vehicles can no longer use them.

A grand example of this is the Walnut Street Bridge in Chattanooga, Tennessee. This was a truss bridge built in 1890 as a one-way street over the Tennessee River. The bridge was closed to motor vehicles in 1978, but a little while afterwards it has been rehabilitated to become a pedestrian bridge. And in 2010, the old, deteriorating asphalt surface was replaced with wood planking.

I love what they did with this bridge - they kept it alive instead of tearing it down, and now it is still of use to pedestrians and bicyclists. To compensate for the motor vehicle restriction, in the 1980's, a new multi-lane bridge was built over the Tennessee River - the Veterans Memorial Bridge (a steel girder bridge).

So when it comes to the purpose of getting motorists across the river, they did replace the bridge (with the Veterans Memorial Bridge, but that is just one of a few other bridges that do the job as well), but at the same time, they kept it alive in another way. The old structure is still here (of course along with the necessary modifications to keep it up), being productive to the non-motorist in Chattanooga. My family, among others, walks on the bridge on July 4th and watches the fireworks. Sometimes we ride bikes across it on weekends.

So, in short, I understand if old truss bridges (or old bridges of any other kind) have to go due to their age, but I certainly want to keep them up in some way, if possible.


Also, me and my family are going to check out two remaining truss bridges over Lake Lanier (in Georgia) on Spring Break. They are scheduled to be taken down in late 2017 or 2018. I am going to film them as well. IIRC, they were both built in the 1950's, so their age is showing. I just hope to get them filmed and documented before they go.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2017, 03:15:05 PM by adventurernumber1 »
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Re: What is your opinion on old/historic truss bridges?
« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2017, 04:31:31 PM »

When I think of truss bridges, the words "old" and "dirty" and "rickety" and "crappy views" tend to come to mind, so unlike many here, I am not particularly saddened to see them go, especially when they've reached the end of their useful life. That said, I do recognize their historical importance, and so I'm glad that some of them are maintained, even for other purposes, much like the old covered bridges of Vermont and other places.
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Re: What is your opinion on old/historic truss bridges?
« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2017, 05:34:15 PM »

Most of the truss bridges along I-5 in Oregon's Willamette Valley were replaced, usually by prestressed concrete spans, by the mid-1990's due to persistent rusting problems.  Quite a few remain in Washington state; whether their protocol regarding bridge maintenance is significantly different than that in Oregon is something about which I am unaware.  But I kind of miss the Oregon bridges, particularly the twins over the Santiam River which, like their WA counterparts, were painted green.
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Re: What is your opinion on old/historic truss bridges?
« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2017, 01:25:47 PM »

I love old truss bridges, and I hate to see them go. Bridges age, and they become structurally deficient and will eventually have to be replaced. However, I want to preserve them if possible, even if motor vehicles can no longer use them.

A grand example of this is the Walnut Street Bridge in Chattanooga, Tennessee. This was a truss bridge built in 1890 as a one-way street over the Tennessee River. The bridge was closed to motor vehicles in 1978, but a little while afterwards it has been rehabilitated to become a pedestrian bridge. And in 2010, the old, deteriorating asphalt surface was replaced with wood planking.

I love what they did with this bridge - they kept it alive instead of tearing it down, and now it is still of use to pedestrians and bicyclists. To compensate for the motor vehicle restriction, in the 1980's, a new multi-lane bridge was built over the Tennessee River - the Veterans Memorial Bridge (a steel girder bridge).

So when it comes to the purpose of getting motorists across the river, they did replace the bridge (with the Veterans Memorial Bridge, but that is just one of a few other bridges that do the job as well), but at the same time, they kept it alive in another way. The old structure is still here (of course along with the necessary modifications to keep it up), being productive to the non-motorist in Chattanooga. My family, among others, walks on the bridge on July 4th and watches the fireworks. Sometimes we ride bikes across it on weekends.

So, in short, I understand if old truss bridges (or old bridges of any other kind) have to go due to their age, but I certainly want to keep them up in some way, if possible.


Also, me and my family are going to check out two remaining truss bridges over Lake Lanier (in Georgia) on Spring Break. They are scheduled to be taken down in late 2017 or 2018. I am going to film them as well. IIRC, they were both built in the 1950's, so their age is showing. I just hope to get them filmed and documented before they go.

I've heard of the Walnut Street Bridge in Chattanooga, it's a rather nice looking bridge. I'd like to go out and see some truss bridges, but I can't exactly get to them. I obviously can't drive, and here in NC we hardly have any truss bridges that carry vehicular traffic. There's maybe one well known truss bridge here, and about ten other minor ones.
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Re: What is your opinion on old/historic truss bridges?
« Reply #8 on: January 30, 2017, 11:40:18 PM »

I love old truss bridges, and I hate to see them go. Bridges age, and they become structurally deficient and will eventually have to be replaced. However, I want to preserve them if possible, even if motor vehicles can no longer use them.

A grand example of this is the Walnut Street Bridge in Chattanooga, Tennessee. This was a truss bridge built in 1890 as a one-way street over the Tennessee River. The bridge was closed to motor vehicles in 1978, but a little while afterwards it has been rehabilitated to become a pedestrian bridge. And in 2010, the old, deteriorating asphalt surface was replaced with wood planking.

I love what they did with this bridge - they kept it alive instead of tearing it down, and now it is still of use to pedestrians and bicyclists. To compensate for the motor vehicle restriction, in the 1980's, a new multi-lane bridge was built over the Tennessee River - the Veterans Memorial Bridge (a steel girder bridge).

So when it comes to the purpose of getting motorists across the river, they did replace the bridge (with the Veterans Memorial Bridge, but that is just one of a few other bridges that do the job as well), but at the same time, they kept it alive in another way. The old structure is still here (of course along with the necessary modifications to keep it up), being productive to the non-motorist in Chattanooga. My family, among others, walks on the bridge on July 4th and watches the fireworks. Sometimes we ride bikes across it on weekends.

So, in short, I understand if old truss bridges (or old bridges of any other kind) have to go due to their age, but I certainly want to keep them up in some way, if possible.


Also, me and my family are going to check out two remaining truss bridges over Lake Lanier (in Georgia) on Spring Break. They are scheduled to be taken down in late 2017 or 2018. I am going to film them as well. IIRC, they were both built in the 1950's, so their age is showing. I just hope to get them filmed and documented before they go.

I've heard of the Walnut Street Bridge in Chattanooga, it's a rather nice looking bridge. I'd like to go out and see some truss bridges, but I can't exactly get to them. I obviously can't drive, and here in NC we hardly have any truss bridges that carry vehicular traffic. There's maybe one well known truss bridge here, and about ten other minor ones.

The Walnut St. Bridge in Chattanooga, TN is incredibly nice, indeed. Hopefully you can get the chance to check out the city of Chattanooga, sometime, including this bridge, and more (there is another interesting bridge right nearby, which vehicular traffic can travel on - it is the John Ross Bridge (Market Street Bridge), which is a bascule bridge that carries TN SR 8). Chattanooga also has a few tunnels through Missionary Ridge, which are very interesting. Also, the area is home to beautiful mountain and river/lake scenery.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2017, 11:49:48 PM by adventurernumber1 »
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Re: What is your opinion on old/historic truss bridges?
« Reply #9 on: February 02, 2017, 12:24:38 AM »

I walked on the old Lake Monroe Bridge in Sanford, Florida back around my 2014 railfan trip on SunRail between DeBary and Florida Hospital Stations. I like how they kept it around as a fishing dock and an overlook, but even then they didn't look like they were taking such good care of it.

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Lake_Monroe_Bridge;_May_8_2014-2.JPG

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Lake_Monroe_Bridge;_May_8_2014-3.JPG

That's not the same thing as what they did with the Walnut Street Bridge in Chattanooga, or the John Seigenthaler bridge in Nashville of course, but like those it was still repurposed for pedestrian use.


Anyone ever see the US 301 bridge south of Stony Creek, Virginia next to I-95?

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:US_301_Nottoway_Bridge_Trusses.JPG

I don't think that bridge would be able to survive as long as it has, if I-95 had never been built next to it.


« Last Edit: February 22, 2017, 12:55:09 PM by D-Dey65 »
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Re: What is your opinion on old/historic truss bridges?
« Reply #10 on: February 02, 2017, 12:46:59 AM »

I love it when DOTs repurpose their old truss bridges into pedestrian bridges at a nearby site. Works really well, as people on foot and bike don't really mind a narrow bridge (it's wider than a regular trail would be) and it preserves it in a way that's easier to appreciate than behind the wheel.

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Re: What is your opinion on old/historic truss bridges?
« Reply #11 on: February 03, 2017, 03:22:03 PM »

I love it when DOTs repurpose their old truss bridges into pedestrian bridges at a nearby site. Works really well, as people on foot and bike don't really mind a narrow bridge (it's wider than a regular trail would be) and it preserves it in a way that's easier to appreciate than behind the wheel.

One of my favorite examples of a re-purposed truss bridge would be the Rock Island Bridge in Arkansas. I've never seen it in person, but it's a very nice looking truss bridge, and it was really decaying until it was rehabilitated. The only thing I dislike about it is it's painted in red. I think blue would look much, much better.
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Re: What is your opinion on old/historic truss bridges?
« Reply #12 on: February 06, 2017, 08:11:32 AM »

I think they are too small for today's uses. Fortunately, they have a similar type of bridge Cantilever which seems to be an updated version of Truss Bridge. Arch Bridges are another version. Unfortunately they appear to be replaced by Suspension Bridges, usually Cable Stayed Bridges bridges in U.S.A. with everybody else still building them. But you can still see some Cantilever bridges. Some are 4 lane (2 lanes each direction) on the same bridge while others are a pair of bridges. And other times you will see a Cantilever Bridge with a Cable Stayed Bridge next to it. This is why I think that U.S.A. is considering Cantilever Bridge to be outdated. But I prefer Cantilever Bridge. It seems much stronger especially since Tacoma Narrows Bridge collapsed. (but have replaced with two more Suspension bridges)

But if you are talking about the smaller Truss Bridges, I think they can still be useful as Bicycle and Pedestrian bridges.

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Re: What is your opinion on old/historic truss bridges?
« Reply #13 on: February 07, 2017, 06:47:21 PM »

Here's an old truss bridge on the Metro-North Harlem Line over the Bronx River north of Fleetwood Station in Mount Vernon.

http://www.nycsubway.org/perl/show?53998

The bridge looks like it was built by New York Central, and only carries two tracks. Next to that is a third bridge that's nothing more than a single trestle bridge carrying a single track.  Normally, I'm not into doing things that way, but I understand if municipalities can't afford total replacements that carry three tracks.
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Re: What is your opinion on old/historic truss bridges?
« Reply #14 on: February 19, 2017, 07:43:47 AM »

Perhaps instead of that single track bridge, they should have added another bridge wide enough for two tracks, giving the possibility of a 4th track added in future.
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Re: What is your opinion on old/historic truss bridges?
« Reply #15 on: February 20, 2017, 11:52:16 PM »

Perhaps instead of that single track bridge, they should have added another bridge wide enough for two tracks, giving the possibility of a 4th track added in future.
Or at least another truss bridge for the third (and possibly fourth) track that can be merged with the older one.

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Re: What is your opinion on old/historic truss bridges?
« Reply #16 on: February 21, 2017, 02:53:41 PM »

Depends on the bridge, IMHO.  A local historic truss bridge was closed and replaced, but the construction company that replaced it has it on the front lawn of the company offices. D Construction, Coal City, IL, I think it is. I have a picture somewhere.  I need to dig it out.
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