Mystery Bridge Nr. 139: The Lucile Bridge with its Double-Trusses

Photos by Karl Sweitzer

The next Mystery Bridge takes us to the State of Idaho and this bridge. It’s a Pennsylvania through truss span with Howe Lattice portals supported by 45° heel bracings. The bridge has a total length of 344 feet, with the main span having a total length of 233 feet. The decking is 16 feet wide. Unique about this bridge is the arch that is found in the truss span itself, thus making it a “double-truss” bridge. These are rare to find, for there are 12 truss bridges of this kind known to exist, including the Currie Parkway Bridge in Michigan, the Southwind Rail to Trail Bridge in Kansas and the LeSeuer Railroad Bridge in Minnesota. Another bridge of its kind, the Meade Avenue Bridge in Pennsylvania, is currently in storage awaiting re-erection in Delaware. These bridges are supported with an additional truss to provide a sturdier structure for traffic. This bridge appears to have had its arch span added in 1975, given its age, rust and appearance as shown in the photos on bridgehunter.com by Karl Sweitzer.

Portal view

The construction date for the Lucile Bridge is 1937 according to records. Yet the bridge has pinned connected trusses which had been phased out for bridge construction before 1920 thanks to the introduction of standardized bridge designs on the state level which began in 1910 and featured trusses that had riveted connections. While some Pennsylvania trusses were used in some states, only the Pratt, Parker, Warren and polygonal Warren designs were preferred for bridge construction. This leads to the possibility that the Lucile Bridge was relocated to its present site: the Salmon River at Cow Creek Road not far from US Hwy. 95. and just outside the village. If that is the case, then the following questions arise that should require research to answer them:

1. Was there a crossing in Lucile prior to 1937?

2. Where did this truss span originate from?

3. When was it built at its original site and by whom?

4. When was it dismantled and transported to its current location?

If you have some information on the bridge’s history, feel free to add it here in the comment section and/or that of bridgehunter.com. Your help in solving this mystery would be much appreciated. Happy research and happy bridgehunting.