S.B.I. 11 (Old U.S. Route 40) Covered Timber Bridge over the Embarras River

PROJECT NAME: S.B.I. 11 (Old U.S. Route 40) Covered Timber Bridge over the Embarras River
OWNER: Cumberland County
LOCATION: Greenup, Cumberland County, Illinois
PROJECT DESCRIPTION: The Cumberland County Highway Department employed our firm to perform the planning and design work associated with the covered timber bridge project.

The project is the culmination of a lengthy effort to replace an existing structurally deficient bridge with a unique covered timber bridge reminiscent of one that once spanned the Embarras River at this location in the early to mid 1800's as part of the historic Cumberland Trail. The Cumberland Trail served as a critical link between the developing eastern states and the expanding western territories. Today, U.S. Route 40 closely follows the original alignment of this early "interstate highway."

The new bridge not only serves as a local cultural attraction but also functions as a bridge structure capable of supporting current traffic loading, including AASHTO HS 20 vehicles. The 200 foot single span structure utilizes a combination of 25 foot high parallel chord trusses and 3-hinged parabolic arches to satisfy stringent loading and deflection criteria. The trusses and arches are made up of heavy glue-laminated timber members. The substructure consists of buttressed reinforced concrete abutments that average 40 feet in height. The completed bridge structure is reported to be the longest single span covered timber bridge in the U.S. without a posted load restriction.

Work performed by Rhutasel and Associates, Inc. involved the preliminary analysis necessary to establish the covered bridge's truss and arch geometry, determination of heavy timber material sources and availability, analysis of likely construction methods, preparation of preliminary and final construction cost estimates, final structural analysis and design, and preparation of the final project drawings and specifications.


Structural Areas of Service:
Buildings & Foundations
Environmental Structures
Contractor Services

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