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Discussion Starter #1
Since I'm trying to keep what little theme we have to the old days (1880's, etc). I'd like to take a shot at building a wooden Howe truss bridge. What I'm wondering is what is a practical length for one of these? I see guys with bridges from four to twenty feet long, but not in a Howe. I'm thinking four to eight feet.

Any ideas from those with more experience?

Thanks.
 

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RE: "Howe" long?

Michael,

Best to think prototype length in this case. For steel truss bridges with parallel top and bottom the maximum practical length was about 175' if I remember correctly. This length could be greatly increased by curving the top chord. I don't really know what the maximum length would be for a wooden Howe Truss bridge but I wouldn't think it'd be more than about half that of steel. Remember too that the longer the bridge the deeper it would be. I think the older bridges look much better as multiple spans for long lengths. Too, some of the distance can be used up in the approaches via trestlework or deck truss sections. Makes for a more interesting bridge and worth the effort since it will undoubtedly be a centerpiece. A center four foot Howe Truss approached by a couple of feet of smaller approach spans on each end would look quite nice.
 
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