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RBMN - Peacock's Lock Viaduct

Photos 

Peacock's Lock Bridge -- July 4, 2010

Downriver side overview looking towards Tuckerton

Photo taken by Raymond Klein

Enlarge

BH Photo #178420

Map 

Description 

Check out Historic American Engineering Record for further details and photos.

Facts 

Overview
Stone arch bridge over Schuylkill River
Location
Tuckerton, Berks County, Pennsylvania
Status
Open to pedestrians
History
Built 1853-1856
Builder
- Gustavus A. Nicolls of Baile Mhic Andáin, Contae Chill Chainnigh, Éire (Railroad Superintendent)
Railroads
- Reading Railroad (RDG)
- Reading, Blue Mountain & Northern Railroad (RBMN)
Design
Includes nine semi-circular arch spans of rough-cut ashblar, each 64'-0" long Has Pierced Standrels between the arches. For a similiar bridge design check out Reading (now NS) RR Bridge over closed Linfield Road in Montgomery County, PA
Also called
Reading - Peacock's Lock Viaduct
Approximate latitude, longitude
+40.40997, -75.94748   (decimal degrees)
40°24'36" N, 75°56'51" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
18/419608/4473692 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Temple
Inventory number
BH 46260 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • July 30, 2017: Photo imported by Alexander D. Mitchell IV
  • December 16, 2011: Updated by Frank Hicks: Added GPS coordinates
  • September 19, 2010: Added by Raymond Klein

Related Bridges 

Sources 

  • Raymond Klein - Bookshelfthe [at] msn [dot] com
  • Frank Hicks
  • HAER PA-118 - Philadelphia & Reading Railroad, Peacock's Lock Viaduct, Spanning Schuykill River at Reading Railroad, Reading, Berks County, PA

Comments 

RBMN - Peacock's Lock Viaduct
Posted October 27, 2019, by Luke

Irish.

Scottish would have the town for the builder of https://bridgehunter.com/hi/kauai/7420151142001/ read as "Tobar na Màthar, Siorrachd Lannraig a Tuath, Alba" in Scottish Gaelic

RBMN - Peacock's Lock Viaduct
Posted October 27, 2019, by Clark Vance (cvance [at] dogmail [dot] com)
RBMN - Peacock's Lock Viaduct
Posted October 27, 2019, by Ed Hollowell (erhollowell [at] aol [dot] com)

I also was wondering about the builders, Baile Mhic Andáin, Contae Chill Chainnigh. Could this be Welch?

RBMN - Peacock's Lock Viaduct
Posted October 27, 2019, by Ed Hollowell (erhollowell [at] aol [dot] com)

If you had to cut, haul, raise and fit the stone to fill those pierced holes I expect you would understand why they are there.

My questions are was there a canal aqueduct here and why are the bottom third of the piers of much more rough stone work? Possibly there was a timber trestle built here before the current one?

RBMN - Peacock's Lock Viaduct
Posted October 27, 2019, by Don Morrison
RBMN - Peacock's Lock Viaduct
Posted October 26, 2019, by George A Oakley (Georgeoakley49 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

Here is some more information that was in the same article I read about this bridge in todays local paper that I overlooked.This bridge was named for Peacock Lock,found downstream.Initially a single lock and later enlarged to a double-chamber lock,numbers 39 and 40 on the Schuylkill Canal,Peacock Double Lock took its name from Alexander Peacock.Peacock,who lived from 1821 to 1898,operated a limestone quarry and canal boat fleet near the village of Cross Keys in Bern Township.The remains of Peacock Lock and the northern abutment of Peacock Viaduct are on the private property of Andy and Helga Bensing,owners of Peacock Bridge Kennels.

RBMN - Peacock's Lock Viaduct
Posted October 26, 2019, by George A Oakley (Georgeoakley49 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

Nathan,i was just reading an article in todays local paper which goes into detail about the history of this bridge.According to Justin M Spivey,a structural engineer with Wiss,Janney,Elstner Associates Inc. of Philadelphia the openings do lighten the load on the foundation.This complex bridge design was also used to attract freight and passenger traffic at the time.The designer of this bridge,Nicolls designed the Washington Road Bridge first as a smaller version of this bridge and in this way was practicing his skills by building the Washington Road Bridge before the Peacock's Lock Viaduct.As can be seen,the design held up ver well since being built.

RBMN - Peacock's Lock Viaduct
Posted August 13, 2018, by Nathan Holth (webmaster [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

The HAER Documentation (attached) provides explanation. It is both aesthetic and also for reducing dead weight. In a sense you might think of an open spandrel arch bridge versus a closed spandrel arch. Perhaps bridges such as these were the first attempts to reduce the amount of material needed in an arch. As the documentation correctly notes, other examples of similar arch bridges (albeit often with half-circle openings) can be found overseas. I am aware of examples in Europe and China. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pont_du_Diable_(C%C3%A9ret) http://armchairtravelogue.blogspot.com/2009/08/more-bridges-...

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RBMN - Peacock's Lock Viaduct
Posted August 13, 2018, by John Marvig

I’ve never seen pierced spandrels like this, so I can’t comment to the true reasoning behind them. However, they could possibly be purely decorative, or reduce the total dead load on the arches by reducing the amount of material supported.

RBMN - Peacock's Lock Viaduct
Posted August 13, 2018, by Anonymous

This mornings paper where I live has a picture of this bridge on the front page concerning fishing on the schuylkill river.My fiancee asked me about the pierced spandrels which I told her i don't know why they were built into the bridge.Out of curiosity does anybody know why there are pierced spandrels built into this bridge and if it's for structural integrity?

Peacock's Lock Bridge Tuckerton, PA
Posted October 16, 2014, by Steve & Tanya Kohl (teedoff8659 [at] aol [dot] com)

Did anyone know that about 1.5 miles up the train line is a smaller 3 span bridge over Washington Rd and a small creek that is the same architecture as the Peacock bridge? It looks identical but smaller. How cool is that ?!?!

Peacock's Lock Bridge Tuckerton, PA
Posted December 16, 2011, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Magnificent structure!