Curlew Bridge - 1908 - Curlew, WA
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member T0SHEA
N 48° 53.135 W 118° 36.095
11U E 382590 N 5415973
Quick Description: The main entrance to Curlew off Highway 21, this Parker Truss bridge was built in 1908 by William Oliver of Spokane.
Location: Washington, United States
Date Posted: 6/29/2016 3:08:18 PM
Waymark Code: WMRJNK
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member Math Teacher
Views: 2

Long Description:
Still wood decked, this national historic bridge is only one lane in width, which was more or less the norm in small towns at the time it was erected. Now painted a pale green, the bridge appears to remain in very good condition. It is one of only eight road bridges built in Washington prior to 1910 which remain in place, all but one being National Register Bridges, the other being recommended for registration.

182 feet in length, it is the use of the Parker truss design which allowed a bridge of this length to be constructed. It rests on concrete piers at each of its four corners, two on each bank of the Kettle River. At each end is a short approach span of approximately 10 feet.

Notice below that Bridge Hunter has misnamed this bridge the "Orient Bridge". That bridge, apparently still listed on the National Register in Stevens County, has since been replaced by a steel and concrete girder bridge and no longer exists.

The 180-foot-long, steel Parker truss Orient Bridge is one of only five bridges of this type built before 1910 remaining in Washington State. The arched top chord of the Parker truss design (a variation of the Pratt truss) increased structural rigidity. This innovation enabled construction of longer spans than was possible with other pin-connected bridge designs of the early twentieth century. The Orient Bridge is significant locally for the role it played in the transportation network of Ferry and Stevens counties, Washington, and for its importance in facilitating movement of mineral and timber resources to nearby refining and production centers. The Orient Bridge was listed in the National Register of Historic Places [July 16, 1982].
From Bridge Hunter

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Curlew Bridge

In 1908, William Oliver of Spokane erected a 182 foot steel pinconnected Parker truss across the Kettle River at Curlew to replace the first bridge constructed at this crossing which had been washed out by a flood. Before astructure spanned the river, a cable ferry was instituted in 1897 to transport people to and from the General Store.

The 213 foot bridge includes two short timber trestle approach spans, and stands on steel riveted tubular piers that are filled with concrete. Its timber deck which was replanked in 1970, is 14.7 feet wide, curb to curb.

In contrast to the uniform depth of the parallel chords of the basic Pratt truss, the polygonal top chord of this Parker truss which reaches its greatest height at the center panel, reflects the increase in bending moment that occurs as one moves from the ends of the truss to the center. The use of the arched top chord increased the rigidity of the bridge, and consequently enabled the construction of longer spans. For example, the Curlew Bridge is 30 feet longer than the maximum length customarily used for the basic Pratt truss. It consists of nine panels. The diagonals which are a pair of rectilinear eyebars, are counterbalanced in the three center panels with cylindrical rods.

Of the five existing pinconnected Parker trusses built before 1910, the Curlew Bridge and the Orient Bridge, also over the Kettle River, are the least altered examples of this truss type within the State.

Providing access to the small community of Curlew, the bridge remains virtually unaltered in an environment very similar to the one in which it was built 71 years ago. It is significant as a representative of a common truss type off the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
From the HAER Inventory

Date built or dedicated as indicated on the date stone or plaque.: 1908

Date stone, plaque location.: Header beam, west end of bridge

Road, body of water, land feature, etc. that the bridge spans.: Kettle River

Website (if available): [Web Link]

Parking (safe parking location): Not Listed

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