The BHC is accepting any article and information on historic bridges in Ukraine, especially those that were destroyed during the war with Russia. They will be added in the War Bridge series which you can find in the Chronicles under the page Current Events and News Stories. If you have any bridges in the area that you want to share, then feel free to send the info over. Use the contact info in the page About the Chronices and if you have photos to share, please in JPG format.
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Our 172nd mystery bridge takes us to a ghost town of Mona, Iowa. The village is located one mile south of the Minnesota-Iowa border along US Highway 218 in Mitchell County. A creek passing through the village is Otter Creek. Founded in 1869, the village had a very short life for even though it had been constructed with a few houses, a general store and a school, it was short-lived because of the railroad. There used to be rail service in the village, but by 1910, much of the rail commerce was shifted to neighboring Lyle, Minnesota, which is also at the state border, thus rendering Mona useless. Only 30 people live in Mona to this day and a cemetary is one of only a couple relicts of the village’s past that exists.
The mystery bridge we have here is from a collection by the Hayes family of Austin, MN but was presented by Mitch Helle-Morrissey through the facebook page St. Ansgar Area History. According to the negative presented in the picture, the bridge is located southwest of Mona. The information pinpoints the build date of 1887. Judging by the width of the stream, it appears the suspension bridge may have spanned Otter Creek or another tributary nearby. Had the bridge been SW of Mona, it would have spanned the Cedar River, which is twice the width and the bridge span as shown here would not have made it. Though had it spanned the Cedar River, it would have been at a crossing at Otranto, which had already been established at the time the bridge was built. But let’s say it’s in or near Mona, spanning Otter Creek because of the bridge’s length combined with the stream’s width.
What makes it puzzling is the state of the bridge in the picture. While it may appear that it was a suspension bridge, the decking appeared to have been sagged on one end and straight on the other. There may be a possibility that a truss span, a Truesdell design, may have been built but to stabilize the structure, towers and wire cable were built to uphold the structure and keep it from collapsing. This leads to the question of whether this bridge was originally a truss bridge that was reinforced through suspension cables or a poorly-built suspension bridge that was teetering on the verge of collapse. In any case, locals commenting on this span have memories of people crossing the bridge and considering it dangerous even for pedestrians. Nevertheless, the suspension bridge has been gone for many, many years…..
But since when?
If you have any information about this suspension bridge, especially regarding its history and exact location, feel free to comment about it either here at the Chronicles, on its facebook page or through a pair of facebook pages below, where the article will appear:
March 30: A Ukrainian soldier patrols near a bridge destroyed by the Russian army in the town of Rogan, east of Kharkiv. Fadel Senna/AFP via Getty Images onceupon a bridgeI walked acrossto the otherside nowthere is no way nocrossing over how everwill I travelwhen it is timeto journey on nowthere is no bridgenocrossing over ~ […]
$1.4 million awarded to the bridge by PennDOT to restore and repurpose the bridge for pedestrians.
HARRISBURG, PENNSYLVANIA (USA)- An early example of an iron through truss bridge built by a local bridge company in Pennsylvania is going to be restored after receiving a sizable amount of money from the state government. State Senator Mike Regan (Republican- Cumberland) announced on April 21st that the Friends of the Sheepford Road Bridge will receive $1.4 million from the Transportation Alternatives Set-Aside (TASA) Funds from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT). The TASA Funds is money set aside for projects and activities considered transportation alternatives, including on- and off-road pedestrian and bicycle facilities, infrastructure projects for improving non-driver access to public transportation and enhanced mobility, community improvement activities, and environmental mitigation, trails that serve a transportation purpose, and safe routes to school projects. It also includes restoration of historic bridges considered vital for areas where recreation is popular.
The Sheepford Road Bridge was one of two bridges that received TASA Funding in the announcement. The bridge was built by Dean and Westbrook of New York City as well as the Phoenix Bridge Company of Phoenixville, Pennsylvania in 1887. It’s one of a handful of bridges remaining in the eastern US that was built using cast and wrought iron and has two unique features: Phoenix columns on its end posts and ornamental portal bracings with builder’s plaque on each end. The Pratt through truss bridge is eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places. Rehabilitated in 1975, the 133-foot long bridge was closed to all traffic in 2000 and since then, efforts had been undertaken to secure funding to repurpose the bridge as a pedestrian crossing, especially as it’s located near a park spanning Yellow Breeches Creek at the Cumberland-York County border. With the awarding of the funding, the Friends of the Sheepford Road Bridge, who have their own website (here), the funding has been secured and construction will begin shortly on restoring the historic bridge and making it a pedestrian crossing. Apart from repainting the bridge, there will be other work on repairing truss parts and renewing the decking, all of which will be done with a firm specializing in restoring historic bridges.
“Two and a half years ago we started this incredible journey to Save Our Bridge, a story with many twists and turns,” stated Janice Lynx, director of the Friends of the Sheepford Bridge, in an interview with the Bridgehunter’s Chronicles. “We stumbled many times and on occasion thought all was lost. But in the end we brought our community, local representatives, and historical organizations together to save a piece of our history.” The Sheepford Road Bridge has already received grants and recognition on the international scale. This included winning the 2021 William Foshag Awards by the Cumberland County Historical Society. The bridge received a silver and bronze medal in the 2021 Bridgehunter Awards in the categories Endangered TRUSS and Bridge of the Year, respectively. The winner in both went to the Historic Bridges in Keeseville, New York. “Grassroots activism works and you can make a different,” stated Lynx. And indeed the Sheepford Road Bridge represents an example of how one local group can make a difference and keep a piece of history that others will enjoy, especially once the restoration is completed.
Your bridge matters, and therefore, congratulatons and best of luck with your next steps in restoring it. ❤ 🙂
The other historic bridge that is receiving funding through PennDOT’s TASA Program is the Bogert’s Covered Bridge in Allentown in Lehigh County. The Burr truss bridge was built in 1841 and spans Little Lehigh River. It can be seen north of I-78. The bridge has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1980. PennDOT awarded $1.3 million to the City of Allentown, which will be used for a complete restoration of the covered bridge, which includes diassembly, restoration of parts and reassembly. When this will take place remains open. But it will continue to serve pedestrians once the restoration project in completed.
This morning’s hiking adventure began at the Swing Bridge Park Trailhead. I began by taking in the view from the Rock Island Swing Bridge that was built in 1894. The bridge no longer extends across the Mississippi River as it is now a recreational pier. Further away from the shore, the frozen river began to […]
Many of us have heard about the story of the Inver Grove Heights Double-Decker Bridge that used to span the Mississippi River at the Washington and Dakota County border. The bridge was unique in its kind, as you can see in the info provided by bridgehunter.com by clicking here. Yet when a 200-foot Vierendeel truss segment on the Washington County side collapsed and the bridge was subsequentially demolished, many people feared that it was a tragedy because of its history. Still, there was a little glimmer of hope and parts of the bridge were salvaged. Here’s a look at the park that is dedicated to the bridge, as you can see in the link above. As a hint: I visited the park in 2011 and was amazed at all the efforts made to save a piece of history. This is one place a person with a love for historic bridges and Minnesota history should see. 🙂
In the first Pic of the Week after a relaxing Easter break, our theme is bikes and bridges. Be it bicycles or motorcycles, historic and unique crossings tend to make for good backdrops for photo opportunities, as you can see with this shot at the Wave near Glauchau (Saxony). This was taken after a weekend bike tour with family to see another corner of Saxony which we haven’t visited yet. The X-factors to using bikes and bridges for photography are the elements in the background near the bridge, let alone the light setting. As you can see, this shot was taken in the afternoon sun, providing the bike with a long shadow. And as far as for what purpose, many of us, like myself love to experiment and have fun with it. Others tend to try it to market their newest models for others to buy. While I’ve challenged a couple bike dealers on my Instagram page to give it a shot, a word of advice who want to try and market the bike with the bridge, do it on spontaneity, and not on desperation. The less desperate to sell your product, the more fun you will have taking this shot.