The A-Frame Bridge at Old Man’s Cave has become a landmark within the State Park. Since the original construction in 1970, the bridge had deteriorated to the point where major rehabilitation or replacement was necessary.
A major consideration for rehabilitation of historic bridges is maintaining the character and feel of the original structure. Hull, through its’ company Jobes Henderson, evaluated each timber to determine which members could be reused and which required replacement.
Ultimately, the entire bridge was replaced down to the foundation with glulam a-frame and floor beam members supporting white oak railing and decking. Replacing the bridge with an identical configuration not only allowed the re-use of existing foundations, but also maintained the original, historic look with which visitors had become familiar.
The Ohio Department of Transportation was relocating SR 664/374 and reworking the trails on the north side of the gorge as part of that project. Hull took this opportunity to provide an ADA accessible trail along the south side of the gorge to the visitor’s center. Hull evaluated multiple trail alternatives that met ADA requirements to different degrees. Each alternative was developed to determine impacts to the natural setting, character, and feel of the trail. Natural landscaping was developed along the trail to hide and soften edges and bring setting to the trail. Hull’s design achieved the objectives to improve and enhance the bridge and adjoining trail while maintaining the aesthetics and atmosphere of Hocking Hills State Park.
Ben Russell, PE