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Bridge Structure & Styles

Bridge #28 - Parke County

Bridge #28, Parke County.

Bridges are a unique offshoot of architecture and possess their own associated terms, components and styles. Accordingly, DHPA has created this section to help identify these and to educate those with an interest in the basics of bridge architecture.

Terminology

Bridge truss terms

Types

Bridge truss types

Metal Bridge Assessment Guide

Bridge Truss Styles - Architectural Guide

  • King Post

    King Post Bridge
    (Wood)
    Drawing: Historic American Engineering Record

    A traditional truss type with its origins in the Middle Ages.

    Length: 20-60 feet (6-18 meters)

  • Queen Post

    Queen Post Bridge
    (Wood)
    Drawing: Historic American Engineering Record

    A lengthened version of the King Post.

    Length: 20-80 feet (6-24 meters)

  • Pratt

    Pratt Bridge
    1844-20th century
    Drawing: Historic American Engineering Record

    Diagonals in tension, verticals in compression (except for hip verticals adjacent to the inclined end posts).

    Length: 25-150 feet (8-45 meters)

    Click to enlarge

    County Bridge 40 - Crawford County
    County Bridge 40
    Crawford County, IN

    County Bridge 91 (Demolished) - Crawford County
    County Bridge 91 (Demolished)
    Crawford County, IN

  • Pratt Half-Hip

    Pratt Half-Hip Bridge
    Late 19th century - Early 20th century
    Drawing: Historic American Engineering Record

    A Pratt with inclined end posts that do not horizontally extend the length of a full panel.

    Length: 30-150 feet (9-45 meters)

  • Double Intersection Pratt

    Double Intersection Pratt Bridge
    (Whipple, Whipple-Murphy, Linville)
    1847 - 20th century
    Drawing: Historic American Engineering Record

    An inclined end post Pratt with diagonals that extend across two panels.

    Length: 70-300 feet (21-90 meters)

    Click to enlarge

    Counyt Bridge 541 - Allen County
    County Bridge 541
    Allen County, IN

    County Bridge 159 - Dearborn County
    County Bridge 159
    Dearborn County, IN

  • Burr Arch Truss

    Burr Arch Truss Bridge
    (Wood)
    1804 - late 19th century
    Drawing: Historic American Engineering Record

    Combination of a wooden arch with a multiple King Post (Arch also combined with later wooden trusses). This truss type is often used in the construction of covered bridges in Indiana.

    Length: 50-175 feet (15-50 meters)

  • Town Lattice

    Town Lattice Bridge
    (Wood)
    1820 - late 19th century
    Drawing: Historic American Engineering Record

    A system of cross-hatched wooden diagonals with no verticals.

    Length: 50-220 feet (15-66 meters)

  • Truss Leg Bedstand

    Truss Leg Bedstand Bridge
    Late 19th century - early 20th century
    Drawing: Historic American Engineering Record

    A Pratt with vertical end posts imbedded in their foundations.

    Length: 30-100 feet (9-30 meters)

    Click to enlarge

    County Bridge 181 (Demolished) - Clay County
    County Bridge 181 (Demolished)
    Clay County, IN

  • Parker

    Parker Bridge
    Mid to late 19th century - 20th century
    Drawing: Historic American Engineering Record

    A Pratt with a polygonal top chord.

    Length: 40-200 feet (12-60 meters)

    Click to enlarge

    County Bridge 3346 - Tippecanoe County
    County Bridge 3346
    Tippecanoe County, IN

  • Baltimore (Petit)

    Baltimore (Petit) Bridge
    1871 - Early 20th century
    Drawing: Historic American Engineering Record

    A. A Pratt with sub-struts.

    B. A Pratt with sub-ties.

    Length: 250-600 feet (75-180 meters)

  • Pennsylvania (Petit)

    Pennsylvania (Petit) Bridge
    1875 - Early 20th century
    Drawing: Historic American Engineering Record

    A. A Parker with sub-struts.

    B. A Parker with sub-ties.

    Length: 250-600 feet (75-180 meters)

    Click to enlarge

    County Bridge 100 (Demolished) - Allen County
    County Bridge 100 (Demolished)
    Allen County, IN

    New York Central Railroad Bridge - Clark County
    New York Central Railroad Bridge
    Clark County, IN

  • Lenticular (Parabolic)

    Lenticular (Parabolic) Bridge
    1878 - early 20th century
    Drawing: Historic American Engineering Record

    A Pratt with both top and bottom chords parabolically curved over their entire length.

    Length: 150-400 feet (45-120 meters)

  • Warren

    Warren
    1848 - 20th century
    Drawing: Historic American Engineering Record

    Triangular in outline, the diagonals carry both compressive and tensile forces.  A "true" Warren truss has equilateral triangles.

    Length: 50-400 feet (15-120 meters)

    Click to enlarge

    County Bridge 137 (Demolished) - Benton County
    County Bridge 137 (Demolished)
    Benton County, IN

    County Bridge 216 (Demolished) - Hendricks County
    County Bridge 216 (Demolished)
    Hendricks County, IN

  • Warren with Verticals

    Warren with Verticals
    mid 19th - 20th century
    Drawing: Historic American Engineering Record

    Diagonals carry both compressive and tensile forces.  Verticals serve as bracing for triangular web system.

    Length: 50-400 feet (15-120 meters)

    Click to Enlarge

    County Bridge 398 - Gibson County
    County Bridge 398
    Gibson County, IN

    County Bridge 63 (Demolished) - Carroll County
    County Bridge 64 (Demolished)
    Carroll County, IN

  • Double Intersection Warren

    Double Intersection Warren
    (Lattice)
    mid 19th - 20th century
    Drawing: Historic American Engineering Record

    Structure is indeterminant.  Members act in both compression and tension.  Two triangular web systems are superimposed upon each other with or without verticals.

    Length: 75-400 feet (23-120 meters)

    Click to enlarge

    Double Intersection Warren

    Railroad Bridge
    Tippecanoe County, IN

  • Pegram

    Pegram
    1887 - early 20th century
    Drawing: Historic American Engineering Record

    A hybrid between the Warren and Parker trusses, upper chords are all of equal length.

    Length: 150-650 feet (45-195 meters)

  • Howe

    Howe
    (wood, verticals of metal)
    1840-20th century
    Drawing: Historic American Engineering Record

    Diagonals in compression, verticals in tension.

    Length: 30-150 feet (9-45 meters)

  • Bowstring Arch-Truss

    Bowstring Arch-Truss
    1840-late 19th century
    Drawing: Historic American Engineering Record

    A tied arch with the diagonals serving as bracing and the verticals supporting the deck.

    Length: 70-175 feet (21-50 meters)

    Click to enlarge

    County Bridge 52

    County Bridge 52
    Miami County, IN

  • Wichert

    Wichert

    1932 - mid-late 20th century
    Drawing: Historic American Engineering Record

    Characterized by a pin connected rhomboidal structural arrangement over the piers. Truss is continuous over piers.

    Length: 400-1000 feet (122-305 meters)

  • Camelback

    Camelback

    Late 19th - 20th century
    Drawing: Historic American Engineering Record

    A Parker with a polygonal top chord of exactly five slopes.

    Length: 100-300 feet (30-90 meters)

  • Camelback with Subdivided Panels

    Camelback with Subdivided Panels

    Late 19th - 20th century
    Drawing: Historic American Engineering Record

    A Pennsylvania truss with a polygonal top chord of exactly five slopes.

    Length: 100-300 feet (30-90 meters)

  • Kellogg

    Kellogg

    Late 19th century
    Drawing: Historic American Engineering Record

    A variation of the Pratt with additional diagonals running from upper chord panel points to the center of the lower chords.

    Length: 75-150 feet (23-50 meters)

  • Waddell "A"

    Waddell "A" Truss

    Late 19th - early 20th century
    Drawing: Historic American Engineering Record

    Expanded version of the King Post truss. Usually made of metal.

    Length: 25-75 feet (8-23 meters)

  • Griener

    Griener

    1894 - early 20th century
    Drawing: Historic American Engineering Record

    Pratt truss with the diagonals replaced by an inverted bowstring truss.

    Length: 75-250 feet (23-75 meters)

  • Schwedler

    Schwedler

    Late 19th century
    Drawing: Historic American Engineering Record

    A double intersection Pratt positioned in the center of a Parker.

    Length: 100-300 feet (30-90 meters)

  • K-Truss

    K-Truss

    Early 20th century
    Drawing: Historic American Engineering Record

    So called because of the distinctive outline of the structural members.

    Length: 200-800 feet (60-240 meters)

  • Post

    Post

    1865-late 19th century
    Drawing: Historic American Engineering Record

    A hybrid between the Warren and the Double Intersection Pratt.

    Length: 100-300 feet (30-90 meters)

  • Bollman

    Bollman

    (Rare)
    1852-Mid to late 19th century
    Drawing: Historic American Engineering Rec

    Verticals in compression, diagonals in tension. Run from end posts to every panel point.

    Length: 75-100 feet (23-30 meters)

  • Fink

    Fink

    (rare)
    1851-late 19th century
    Drawing: Historic American Engineering Record

    Verticals in compression, diagonals in tension. Longest diagonals run from end posts to center panel points.

    Length: 75-100 feet (23-45 meters)

  • Stearns

    Stearns

    1892-early 20th century
    Drawing: Historic American Engineering Record

    Simplification of Fink truss with verticals omitted at alternate panel points.

    Length: 50-200 feet (15-60 meters)