professor ben schafer's thin-walled structures research group - johns hopkins university


Historic American Engineering Record
Covered Wooden Bridges Project


In the summer of 2002 we finalized a cooperative agreement between the Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) and the JHU Department of Civil Engineering. Since that agreement was finalized we have been working with HAER providing engineering assistance in an ongoing project between HAER and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to document America's covered wooden bridges.


In the summer of 2002 I lead a Hopkins team, along with Dylan Lamar, that studied two historic bridges: the Pine Grove Bridge, a Burr truss-arch in Lancaster/Chester Co. PA, and the Brown Bridge, a Town lattice in Rutland Co., VT. Reports, and presentations for that work is available below.


In the summer of 2003 I lead a Hopkins team consisting of myself, Rachel Sangree, Tim Ruth, and Jack Spangler that performed full-scale load testing on four covered wooden bridges: the Pine Grove Bridge, our Burr truss-arch from summer 2002  in PA, the Morgan Bridge a retrofitted queenpost in VT, the Taftsville Bridge a multiple kingpost with supplemental arches in VT, and the Contococook Bridge a massive Town lattice railroad bridge  in NH. Preliminary presentation materials from those bridges are available below. Final reports on the Morgan Bridge (which we are entirely responsible for) and the load testing of the other bridges will be forthcoming.


Summer 2002

Pine Grove Bridge - Lancaster/Chester Co., PA (pictures)

Brown Bridge - Rutland Co., VT (pictures)

Closeout presentation from summer 2002 (pdf of powerpoint slides)

Engineering HAER report  for Pine Grove Bridge (pdf)

Engineering HAER report  for Brown Bridge (pdf)

ASCE Journal of Bridge Engineering Paper - Accepted for publication (pdf)

Presentation from 2003 Best Practices Conference (pdf of powerpoint slides)


Summer 2003

Pine Grove Bridge - PA (pictures)

Morgan Bridge - VT (pictures)

Taftsville - VT (pictures)

Contococook Bridge - NH (pictures)

Closeout presentation from summer 2003 (pdf of powerpoint slides) 



Pine Grove Bridge - Lancaster/Chester Co., PA (pictures from summer 2002)


Brown Bridge - Rutland Co., VT (pictures from summer 2002)


Morgan Bridge -  VT (pictures from summer 2003)


Taftsville Bridge -  VT (pictures from summer 2003)


Contococook Bridge -  NH (summer 2003) (note scale of car/people to truss depth)


last updated 07/19/05