History of Early Bridge Specifications: A Reprint of a Paper by J. N. Clary

Report No: 07-R10

Published in 2006

About the report:

This report is a reprint of an informed review of the specifications for iron and steel bridges, both railroad and highway structures, dating from the mid-19th through the early 20th centuries. It is reprinted with only minor editing as a companion to an earlier report, Best Practices for the Rehabilitation and Moving of Historic Metal Truss Bridges, VTRC 06-R31. The document was discovered in the files of VDOT's Structure & Bridge Division during research for the earlier study. The folder containing the paper ascribed its authorship to Mr. J. N. Clary, State Bridge Engineer from 1952 to 1972 and Chair of the Transportation Research Board's Structures Section from 1962 to 1969. It is a document that reflects the thinking and practice of the bridge engineering practice of the late 19th and first part of the 20th centuries and the gradual evolution of specifications for metal bridges during that period. It is believed that the document will be of interest to cultural resource personnel and bridge engineers interested in historic metal bridges.

Disclaimer Statement:The contents of this report reflect the views of the author(s), who is responsible for the facts and the accuracy of the data presented herein. The contents do not necessarily reflect the official views or policies of the Virginia Department of Transportation, the Commonwealth Transportation Board, or the Federal Highway Administration. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation. Any inclusion of manufacturer names, trade names, or trademarks is for identification purposes only and is not to be considered an endorsement.


Other Authors

J. N. Clary, Wallace T. McKeel, Jr., P.E.

Last updated: November 25, 2023

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