2 votes

Watts Mill Bridge


File:Watts Mill Bridge1.JPG

Photo taken by Mvincec

View this photo at en.m.wikipedia.org

BH Photo #276587



Continuous two-span pony truss bridge over Little Beaver Creek on Watts Mill Road
Beaver County, Pennsylvania
Built 1878 by the West Penn Bridge Co.
- West Penn Bridge Co.
Pratt pony truss
Total length: 108.9 ft.
Deck width: 15.0 ft.
Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on June 22, 1988
Approximate latitude, longitude
+40.79055, -80.49386   (decimal degrees)
40°47'26" N, 80°29'38" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
17/542701/4515629 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
New Galilee
Inventory numbers
PA 04 4009 0060 0000 (Pennsylvania Bridge Management System number)
NRHP 88000868 (National Register of Historic Places reference number)
PANBI 03740 (Pennsylvania BRKEY bridge number on the 2011 NBI)
BH 30368 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection (as of 10/2009)
Deck condition rating: Fair (5 out of 9)
Superstructure condition rating: Serious (3 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Poor (4 out of 9)
Appraisal: Structurally deficient
Sufficiency rating: 18.4 (out of 100)
Average daily traffic (as of 2007)

Update Log 

  • September 15, 2016: Updated by Clark Vance: Added categories "Wrought Iron", "Pin-connected"
  • March 2, 2014: Photo imported by Dave King



Watts Mill Bridge
Posted November 18, 2017, by wondering

..............Bridge update?.......

Watts Mill Bridge
Posted March 27, 2017, by Dave Holoweiko (egnatz1 [at] aol [dot] com)

Updates on Watts Mill There is a meeting tomorrow between our state Rep and Penndot . Will know more then. But we have many groups on board to save the old girl. State Rep is a member of our historical society and is all for trying to save the bridge. Hopefully we can come to some resolution that does not include demolition.

Watts Mill Bridge
Posted March 26, 2017, by Dana and Kay Klein

Dave any updates? State Rep helpful?

Watts Mill Bridge
Posted March 20, 2017, by Art S (asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)


If the intent is to reopen the crossing for vehicular use, there are three options:

1)The bridge can be restored to its original specifications. This would be adequate for cars but will likely not be deemed a practical solution.

2)the new crossing could be located up or down stream of the old bridge allowing it to be preserved in place - the lowest cost / best historic integrity option from a preservation perspective. However, this adds potential complications and cost to the new bridge that the governmental agencies will try to avoid.

2) The alternative is to relocate the bridge. This reduces the historical context and adds cost/complexity but ensures the bridge will be preserved (the old Meadville, PA Mead Ave. Bridge is an ongoing example of this).

If there is no intention of opening the crossing to vehicular traffic and converting this to a pedestrian crossing is desired by all, then things get a lot easier.

What help are you seeking?


Art S.

Watts Mill Bridge
Posted March 19, 2017, by Dave Holoweiko (egnatz1 [at] aol [dot] com)

Yes made by Penn bridge in Beaver Falls . We have the plate from the bridge in our collection at our museum will have to find it. The bridge will never be opened to traffic again and will not be rebuilt if torn down .However we are hoping it can be repaired enough to use as a pedestrian bridge as the North Country trail runs right by this site and has many users. We are getting all the local history organizations involved and have the local state rep on our side to save it. hopefully the state will see that tearing it down is not the answer.

Watts Mill Bridge
Posted March 19, 2017, by Art S. (asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)

Could the builder be TB White & Sons (Penn Bridge Works) which moved from New Brighton to Beaver Falls, PA in 1878?


Is there a group of local citizens willing to work towards preservation? If the bridge was restored, how would it be used?


Art S.

Watts Mill Bridge
Posted March 19, 2017, by Dana and Kay Klein

Dave if you are near this bridge some photographs might help. I am not an engineer but know 2 things that are issues with old bridges. In layman's language look for pieces that are corroded so that there full original dimension has changed. Also look where two pieces plates parts etc meet. Is there rust in between these pieces? Those with knowledge on here call this section loss and pack rust. They are NOT a death sentence to a bridge but would impact any restoration. Your mission, photos, just use phone if need be , post on this forum.

Watts Mill Bridge
Posted March 19, 2017, by Dana and Kay Klein

If for some reason you haven't heard of them google Bach Steel...............

Watts Mill Bridge
Posted March 19, 2017, by Dana and Kay Klein

Keep us in the loop!

Watts Mill Bridge
Posted March 19, 2017, by Dave Holoweiko (egnatz1 [at] aol [dot] com)

the bridge has been closed to traffic for years . But we can't let them take this one down . It is one of the last bridges left built by the West Penn Bridge company. I was just informed that our local state Rep will be meeting the Department of transportation in the coming week to discuss options how we can save the old girl.

Watts Mill Bridge
Posted March 19, 2017, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Nice! A continuous pony truss - and a very old one at that! I would hate to see this one disappear. It is quite the rarity, I would think.

Watts Mill Bridge
Posted March 19, 2017, by Dana and Kay Klein

NRHP listed ! Dave not sure how to help but don't let this bridge disappear! Sure some of the more knowledgeable bridge savers in PA could give guidance . SAVE THAT BRIDGE!

Watts Mill Bridge
Posted August 9, 2014, by Jeff (jeff [dot] zader [at] yahoo [dot] com)

FYI...This bridge is closed. There is no work or replacement going on at this time.