Preservation Alternatives for Historic Metal Truss Bridges: Shackelford County Bridge - A Case Study

Maniar, Dilip R.


A number of very old metal truss bridges, some dating back more than a century, are still in vehicular service in Texas. Many of these bridges are of historic interest due to their age and other unique features. There is currently a strong interest in saving historic metal truss bridges and keeping them in continued service. However, achieving this goal is frequently problematic due to structural deficiencies found in these old bridges.

A case study was conducted on a historic metal truss bridge constructed in 1885 in Shackelford County Texas. A number of techniques were investigated to address the structural deficiencies of this bridge. This included techniques for data collection, materials evaluation, structural analysis and load rating, field load testing, and finally structural rehabilitation. This case study demonstrated that the structural deficiencies in this bridge could be addressed by simple and inexpensive remedies, thereby permitting continued use of this historic bridge.

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