Woolsey Bridge, County Road 1408, Woolsey, Washington County, AR
Significance: The Woolsey Bridge that crosses the West fork of the White River in Washington County, Arkansas, was built in 1947. This bridge is a steel drive through Parker Truss type bridge. The dimensions of the Woolsey Bridge are 301'0" x 16'0" and has only one lane. It has two arches in each side with each spanning 150'6" in length. The driving surface of the bridge is a four inch (4") concrete slab on a wire mesh and fabric base. There are I-Beams running in two directions supporting the slab of the bridge, which are 6-10" x 4 1/2" x 3/8" at 2'2' on center, spanning the length of the bridge and supporting the slab. Spanning the width of the bridge and supporting the I-Beams is 1-18" x 6" x 1/2" typical at each panel. Each panel is 18'10" in length for a total of sixteen panels. There are three concrete piers that support the bridge, one at each end and one at the mid-span of the structure. At the west pier there is a pinned connection as opposed to the east pier, which used a rocker connection. In the mid-span pier both a rocker and a pinned connection are used. The structure height from top of the slab to the water is approximately 13'0". The height from the top of the slab to the highest point on the is 26'-10'. In the mid-thirties there became an awakening to streamline bridges, by using shallower trusses. This was achieved in two ways. The first being a change from cast iron to steel which reduced the amount of material required, since less material was needed this also lowered the cost of the bridge. With the use of less materials this decreased the loads on the bridge. The second way was by using elements of a plate, two C-channels, and a shallow ribbon of steel. This ribbon of steel acts as a stiffener between the C-channels and the plate. The method used on the Woolsey Bridge solved several problems in the construction. All parts of the bridge could be hot rolled then punched or drilled at a steel plant, then shipped to the site. This method of fabricating the parts and shipping them to the site for assembly proved to be more cost effective. Because of the mountain area this allowed the parts to be shipped in with a great deal of ease. With the tight building constrictions of the area cranes could not be used, instead pulleys, block and tackles were used to hoist the elements of the bridge in place. Since all elements had to be assembled on site hot rivets were used to connect the structure.
Unprocessed Field note material exists for this structure: N932
Survey number: HAER AR-63