By CARL E. FEATHER
The first load of prefabricated wooden members that will become the longest covered bridge in the United States should arrive in Ashtabula County early next month.
Ashtabula County Engineer Tim Martin says the members will be shipped from a treatment plant in Minneapolis, the last step in processing the wood that will go into the $7.7-million bridge.
"We could see bridge construction there in the next couple of weeks," he says.
Maurice Rhude, owner of Sentinel Structures in Peshtigo, Wisc., was in Ashtabula County last week to survey the progress and meet with Martin. Rhude confirms that the first loads of members will soon be on their way, with many more to follow. He estimates that 40 semi-tractor loads of timber will roll on to the project site during the next several months.
"It's a big job," he says.
Sentinel specializes in structural glue-laminated timber members for bridges, gymnasiums, sound barriers and other uses. While the Ashtabula Township bridge is a large job, it can't top the U.S. Census Building project Sentinel recently completed. Rhude said it had 16,000 white oak members.
The Ashtabula Bridge will have a small amount of white oak in it, but Rhude says the primary timber will be southern yellow pine from Arkansas and Alabama. "It's the supreme structural wood of the world," he says.
Regardless of it's supremacy, these trees don't come in the widths, lengths and strengths required by this project. The modified Pratt-design trusses will be 3 feet thick and comprised of individual, glue-laminated members measuring 163%25u20444-by-8-1%25u20442 inches thick. Rhude says his company starts with kiln-dried dimensional lumber, then glue laminates it to achieve the kind of strength demanded by highway projects.
Concrete pads have been poured on both sides of the chasm and will be used as assembly sites for the trusses. Martin says the trusses for the previous pre-fabricated bridge project, Giddings Road, were built horizontally, raised and lifted across the span. However, trusses for the new bridge will be built vertically and the floor beams installed between them while they are still on the pad. Each of the four 152-foot-long spans will then be moved in place using cranes.
Timber-construction phase of new bridge to begin in July
By CARL E. FEATHER
Nativity exhibit to open in Kirtland
Volunteers are still busy putting up more than 600 Nativity scenes for the nationally acclaimed exhibit at Historic Kirtland in preparation for the formal opening on Friday. A lighting celebration and musical program will begin 6 p.m. Friday. Nativity sets representing countries and cultures from around the world will fill the Visitors Center and the one-room schoolhouse located next to the center. The theme of the 11th annual exhibit is “Unto Us A Son Is Given.” Admission is free and open to the public. Historic Kirtland is located at 7800 Kirtland-Chardon Road, just off Route 306 south of I-90.
Odd Tales of Ashtabula County
Twins were pretty rare in Williamsfield Township, so when Correne Cutlip delivered twin girls on April 22, 1939, her husband, Bob, started calling neighbors and relatives with the good news and a plea for help: they would need twice as much of everything.
Guilty of treason!
She was a lonely child, precocious, some said; others said she was simply aloof. Two things for certain, she was beautiful — neighbors often remarked on her black curls — and odd, especially by the standards that existed in Conneaut in 1916.
Those 10 Calaway girls
In an era when many couples are happy to dote on just one offspring and most U.S. McMansions have at least 2.5 bathrooms, the story of the Calaway sisters is amazing.
The music got him 'All stirred up inside
Floyd Hewitt loved to listen to the radio, especially that cool jazzy music that got him “all stirred up inside.”
The romantic bachelor
The brass plate is partially obscured by the July grass that grows about the stone substrate.
Second of a two-part series on the Big Blow of November 1913
Launching an industry
Shortly after midnight on Sept. 26, 1941, German U- boat No. 203 fired four torpedoes into convoy HG-73 north of the Azores.
Ransom for an attorney’s little boy
Tony Muscarelli, 13, and Willie Madden, 12, were walking down Depot Street, Ashtabula, on the evening of March 20, 1909, when a 30-year-old man accosted them from across the street.
Kelsey’s Run rambles through the flatlands of Conneaut Township Park, carving graceful curves in the grassy area just north of Lake Road and slipping quietly under the two stone bridges in its final stretch toward Lake Erie.
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- Nativity exhibit to open in Kirtland