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Bridge Components

The parts of a bridge are separated into two categories:
the Superstructure or the part on which you drive or walk (i.e. beams, deck, curb, sidewalk, railings, expansion joints, bearings, etc.); and the Substructure or the parts supporting the superstructure (i.e. abutments, backwalls, wingwalls, piers, footings, etc.).

The main superstructure members are generally made of reinforced concrete, or steel. The substructure members are generally made of reinforced concrete and stone, although some bridges substructures have been built with steel. The Foundation part of the Substructure is generally built with reinforced concrete or stone.

Huron County’s bridge inventory also includes drainage culverts, that allow streams to flow under roads. Culverts are used for narrower roadways and generally have shorter spans or distance between supports than bridges. These shorter spans allow more options for different structures that can be used.

Culvert Types
Concrete box culverts Rectangular
Concrete pipes Round, arched or oval
Corrugated metal pipes Round or arched

All types of culverts have a headwall, a concrete or stone "collar", at the unstream entrance and downstream exit to keep the roadway side slopes from sliding into the stream.

Bridge Materials

Concrete is a widely used material in superstructure and substructure member because it is very durable, can be formed into many shapes, and is extremely strong when reinforced with steel bars. The main uses for concrete in the superstructure are in the deck, sidewalks, curbs and parapets (side walls at the edge of the road). The main uses for concrete in the substructure are in the walls and footings of members such as abutments, wingwalls, and piers.

Special high strength concrete is used to make precast (factory built), prestressed (special wire is embedded under tension in the concrete) concrete beams. The precast beams are shipped to the site and placed on the substructure members.

Steel is mainly used in the superstructure as beams and trusses to span the long distances from one substructure member to another. Steel is used because it can be rolled and fabricated into very strong, efficient members. The weight of a steel member needed to span a given distance is much less than that of a concrete member to span the same distance. This can be very important as bridge spans are built longer.

Steel is generally not used in the exposed parts of substructure members because substructure members are in contact with or exposed to the ground and water. This causes rapid corrosion (rust) of the steel, even if it is painted. Painted steel beams in the superstructure generally last a long time, especially when the beams are shielded from direct water (rain) contact by a concrete deck .

Timber is used mostly for decks. Timber is a relatively lightweight material that can be easily cut into different size and length members. Timber members must be treated with preservatives to prevent them from decaying and to ward off attack from insects. Some older bridges over railroads have been built with timber trestles (piers), but there are none in Huron County.

Stone is used mostly for abutments, wingwalls and headwalls and as a veneer (exterior decorative layer) on walls. Stone is a very durable material that can support a lot of weight.

Huron County Bridges

Huron County maintains 411 bridges that provide continuous transportation on County maintained roadways. Most of these roadways are across streams.

Posted Bridges

Many bridges in Huron County were built before large modern agricultural equipment and trucks were readily available for use. Therefore, bridges were designed for smaller loads or weight limits than we now see on the road. Today, most bridges are designed for a maximum allowable vehicular load to prevent large trucks from traveling across and damaging the bridges. As older bridges are repaired or rehabilitated through the Bridge Program, the maximum allowable vehicular load for that bridge may be upgraded. Some modern bridges are not posted because they are designed to support maximum highways loads.

Bridge Replacement Program

Under County Engineer Joe Kovach's helm, the bridge replacement program started by his predecessor has continued and is being expanded to replace some significant bridge structures throughout the county. Using funds from OPWC Issue 1 funds and the Engineer's Gas Tax revenues, these projects are moving forward.

Bridges of Huron County

Huron County Engineer Joe Kovach believes that an informed public is a key part of a active society. In order to achieve that, it is the responsibility of the elected official to provide as much information to the public as possible.

That is the purpose of this page to showcase the bridges of our county and to provide information to the public on the process of keeping them in safe and good condition.

Concrete Box Beam Bridge on Wenz Road in Clarksfield Twp

Clarksfield Township: This bridge was built in the spring of 2006 by Crawford Construction, designed by Huron County Engineering in consultation with C&S Engineering. The box beams in this bridge are 121 feet long, which are the longest constructed to date by United Precast of Mt. Vernon, OH.

Concrete Box Beam Bridge, Townline 12, New Haven Twp

Prestressed concrete box beam bridge on Townline 12, over West Branch of Huron River, New Haven Twp. PRS

Concrete Boxbeam Bridge at Prairie Road, Lyme Twp

Prairie Road Bridge, Lyme Township over Megginson Creek, replaced with prestressed concrete box beam bridge in Spring 2006.

Concrete Boxbeam Bridge on Ferry Road, Clarksfield Twp

Concrete Boxbeam Bridge on Ferry Road, just west of Chenango Road South in Clarksfield Township, crosses East Branch of Vermilion River
Date:07-05-06 PRS

Concrete Boxbeam Bridge on Hettle Road, Peru Twp

Hettle Road Bridge in Peru Township crosses over West Branch of Huron River, it was replaced in 2005, with a structure with prestressed steel reinforced concrete box beams by Crawford Construction of Galion, OH, with OPWC Issue 2 funds in 2005. PRS

Concrete Boxbeam Bridge on Leroy Road, Clarksfield Twp

Concrete Boxbeam Bridge on Leroy Road, west of Chenango Road South, Clarksfield Township, crosses over East Branch of Vermilion River.
Date: 07-05-06 PRS

Concrete Boxbeam Bridge Townline Road 162, Wakeman Twp

Concrete Boxbeam Bridge on Wakeman Townline Road, just off of Chenango Rd N. over Vermilion River. Date: 07-05-06 PRS

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