Wednesday, October 7, 2015

The Bridges of Ashtabula County - Part I

The main reason that I was visiting Ashtabula and Conneaut was to see the number of covered bridges that are in the immediate area.  There are seventeen of them and they range in age from over 100 years old to fairly modern.  Because I wasn't looking at a map when I entered the coordinates into my GPS, I ended up visiting them in a pretty wonky order.  If I go back to that area, I will make sure that I visit them in a logical order.

At any rate, these are in the order that I visited them.
 First up was the Creek Road covered bridge.  It was one of the bridges that was closest to Conneaut.  As I looked at the map, I saw that there were a few around there so that's where I decided to start.
 It is unknown when the bridge was originally built but it was renovated in 1994.  I'm going to guess it was built in the late 1800's but I'm not going to try to guess a decade.
 Many of the bridges in the area are drivable but they are typically fed by dirt roads on either side.  I suspect that cuts down on the speeding leading up to them.
 At any rate, it seems like they try to maintain them to some sort of historical standard rather than an idealized stands.
 The bridge itself is a lattice trussed bridge.  This allows the use of lighter boards and lower skilled laborers to build it.  It is so named because it uses a lattice of elements to form a truss.  These elements are pinned for support.
 The State Road Bridge was my next bridge on my tour.  The original bridge was built in 1831 by Ira Benton and David Niles for $100.
 The support structure is the same as the Creek Road bridge.  The current iteration was built in 1983 and it's dedication was the pre-cursor to the Ashtabula Covered Bridge Festival that is held every second weekend in October.
 It was tough getting down to get this picture but I think it was worth it.  There was a pretty steep hill with lots of mud.  Made it difficult.
 It is still a pretty nice looking bridge.
 I think this is the Middle Road Covered Bridge.
 It was built in 1868 and reconstructed in 1984.  It is a 136 feet long.
 This particular bridge is an example of a Howe Truss.  The design was patented by Massachusetts millwright William Howe in 1840 and is fairly rare.  It uses vertical and horizontal members.
 The Root Road bridge was built in 1868 and renovated in 1983.  It was named after Herbert Root who married the daughter of one of the first Superintendent of Roads in Ashtabula County.  That man probably oversaw the construction of many of these bridges.
 In 1983, the bridge was raised 18" and a new center pier was added.
 It's design is very similar to the first one I posted.
 Another angle of the bridge.
 The Benetka Road Bridge was built in the early 1900's and was restored in 1985.  It was originally named East Matherson which named after Samuel Mather.
 It's a pretty nice bridge.
It is very similar to the other bridges in the area.

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