The Influence of Smith’s Trusses in Southern Ohio

    Otway Covered Bridge

    The influence of Robert W. Smith’s trusses extends to other areas of Ohio. One of my favorite examples is the Otway Covered Bridge over the Scioto Brush Creek in Otway. It was constructed in 1874, modified with arches in 1896 to provide additional structural support and later shortened from 200 feet to 171 feet. In the 1920s, the crossing was modified when a polygonal Warren riveted pony truss was added on the northern approach.

    In 1961, the aging Otway Covered Bridge was bypassed with a steel and concrete structure, although it remained open to limited local traffic. It underwent a major rehabilitation in 2014 and reopened that August following a celebration ceremony and ribbon cutting.

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