A Confluence with the Timeless Flow of a Storied River

I have recently been tasked with designing a “Covered” Wooden Through Truss Bridge for one of the worlds most storied rivers…

That said, though that would be the word that is bandied about, I don’t really feel “design” is what I am engaged in. It is more about using a broad depth of knowledge to facilitate a design. To upon reflection, use a potential projects set of circumstance to then choose from a palette of time proven truss types. And wrap that around site circumstance of span and lay of the land, and how a rivers people work with and navigate its eternal flow. Couple that with cultural influences, and something once common to the table in bridge design, and too often for reasons which I will ever fail to understand, something that is now commonly left off that table – This the simple and recurring desire in mankind to surround ourselves in beauty – And in the end, the design, has chosen itself.

All that is left is the detailing of fit and finish, and that too, in good and thoughtful design, simply chooses itself. As is also, with quantifying what and how much this or any bridge might carry, and the requisite engineering this demands, such things as the sizing of the timbers are a given.

For this project we have chosen not a patent truss, but one, like the River we propose to span, which is far more timeless –

So for a time my attentions and research return to a truss type we last explored in At the Beginnings, the Trussed Arch –

More, as this trickle now just beginning, reaches steady flow, and our design fully reveals itself in the coming weeks.

If you find yourself in need of a way to reach that opposite bank, do reach out, and we might find our way across the water, together.


About Will Truax

I'm a timberframer and preservation carpenter, and regularly work on Covered Bridge restoration projects. Bridgewrighting can be a tough row to hoe, for a myriad of reasons. From scheduling issues to differing opinions and philosophies on what is appropriate in methods and materials, to multiple jurisdictions still not sufficiently vetting bidders resumes - Which is to say, just because a company is on that state approved list and capable of building that seven figure overpass, this does not mean they are capable of restoring a wooden bridge... So, I have much to say about all this and more - And despite my tough row observation, I promise not to whine. View all posts by Will Truax

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