News ReleaseFor Immediate Release - May 17, 1999
OHIO DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION GRANT WILL FUND MOST OF BRIDGE RESTORATION PROJECT AT CAMP TUSCAZOARZOARVILLE, Ohio – The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) has awarded a major grant to help fund the restoration of the Zoarville Station (Fink Truss) Bridge at Camp Tuscazoar. The grant will cover 80% of the costs for removing, restoring and re-erecting the bridge, and the costs of raising the approaches and the bridge abutments to minimize exposure to flooding. Restoration is tentatively scheduled for completion next year.
"We are extremely pleased with ODOT’s contribution to help preserve this historic structure," said David Tschantz, project manager for the Camp Tuscazoar Foundation. "When restored, the bridge will be a popular hiking destination for Camp Tuscazoar visitors and another point of interest within the Ohio and Erie Canal National Heritage Corridor."
The Zoarville Station Bridge, located along an abandoned stretch of State Route 212 just north of Camp Tuscazoar, is the only known bridge in existence that uses the "through truss" design developed by German designer Albert Fink. The bridge, also known as the Fink Truss Bridge, was constructed in the late 1860's near Dover and was moved to its present location in 1905. The Zoarville Station Bridge is now listed on National Register of Historic Places, the Ohio Register of Historic Places and the Historic American Engineering Record.
The aging bridge was donated to the Camp Tuscazoar Foundation in 1997. At the same time, the Foundation purchased three tracts of land from the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District which linked the bridge to the camp. Once repairs are complete, the bridge will be a key stop along both the Zoar Valley Trail and the Ohio to Erie Trail, allowing hikers to cross the Connotton Creek.
The Zoarville Station Bridge was constructed by Smith, Latrobe and Company on behalf of the Baltimore and Ohio (B&O) Railroad as part of an extensive all-metal bridge system. The design is called a "through" truss because traffic passed through the structure of the bridge.
This bridge design also used distinctive "Phoenix" columns -- hollow wrought-iron tubes known for their strength. But the expense and difficulty in fabricating the "Phoenix" columns brought an end to the use of this design.
The Camp Tuscazoar Foundation, Inc. is an Ohio non-profit corporation founded in 1986 for the purpose of purchasing, maintaining and perpetuating Camp Tuscazoar for use by scouts, church groups, school groups and other community organizations. Camp Tuscazoar is located on Boy Scout Road, two miles east of Zoar, near Zoarville.
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