Giddings Road 35-04-60
In my quest for more knowlege of covered bridges and their history I met former Astabula County Engineer John Smolen and we became friends. In April, of 1995 John invited me to Jefeerson, Ohio to photograph the laying in of the pratt trusses of the newly designed Giddings Road Covered Bridge.
Designed by former County Engineer John Smolen, Jr., and funded by a grant of $427,000.00 from the Federal Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act, The white stained covered bridge replaced a deterierated steel bridge over Mill Creek, which had been out of service for several years.
Smolen spent about six months designing the covered bridge. He said the structure is very similar to the Caine Road Covered Bridge he designed in 1986.
The Ohio Department of Transportation and the County Engineer worked together, overseeing the work of B.O.G. Construction, the contractor for the project. The B.O.G. crew began removing the 67-foot, nine-inch long, steel bridge to make way for the Southern Pine pratt trusses of the new bridge. Next, the crew installed new concrete Abutments, supporting them with steel pilings.
The bridge was fabricated by Sentinel Structures, Inc., of Peshtigo, Wisconsin.The lumber pieces were numbered and shipped to Giddings Road, where B.O.G. assembled the trusses.
The next step, which involved placing the 24-ton trusses onto the abutments, employed four cranes, one of which weighed 200-tons and sported 120 feet of boom. The process of setting the 104-foot (center -to-center bearing) trusses across the creek took eight hours and attracted reporters, tourists, and nieghbors alike.
Glue-laminated Southern Pine makes up the main trusses and floor beams, while the siding and roof sheathing consist of Yellow Poplar. The floor planks are Red Oak.
The final phase followed with the installation of the floor beams and the roof trusses. The siding was stained white, while the roof was donned in black asphalt/fiberglas shingles
Giddings Road Bridge welcomed its creek crossers over its Red Oak planks in July of 1995, becoming the third newly built bridge in Ashtabula County, and raising the total of the county's covered bridges to 15. Currenty Tomothy Martin is the Astabula County Engineer.
 

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