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Schuylkill River Trail - Poplar Neck Bridge (West)

Map 

Description 

Formally a railroad bridge, now carries the Thun section of the Schuylkill River Trail (Rail to Trail). One of two such bridges within ~3/4 mile of the other - both spanning the Schuylkill and built during the same year. This bridge entry is denoted by "West"; the other - East. Both bridges have adjacent stone piers immediately nearby indicating possibly a metal deck truss bridge existed prior. Kinks in the centerline of the current pathway immediately prior to the abutments at each end indicates a shift from the old bridge to the new.

Facts 

Overview
Five span, open-spandrel arch bridge over Schuylkill River on Schuylkill River Trail - Thun Section
Location
Reading, Berks County, Pennsylvania
Status
Open to bicyclists & pedestrians only
History
Built 1918
Railroads
- Conrail (CR)
- Penn Central Railroad (PC)
- Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR)
- Rail-to-trail
Design
Five span concrete deck arch bridge with open spandrels. The middle three spans are ~135 feet span and have four open spandrels (two each side). Each of the two end spans are considerably shorter at ~120 feet. Those end spans each have the same spandrel arrangement as the slightly longer three middle spans.
Approximate latitude, longitude
+40.31165, -75.91984   (decimal degrees)
40°18'42" N, 75°55'11" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
18/421840/4462754 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Reading
Inventory number
BH 62662 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • August 26, 2014: New photos from Patrick S. O'Donnell
  • August 25, 2014: New Street View added by Patrick S. O'Donnell

Sources 

  • Patrick S. O'Donnell - 1 [dot] 991km [at] comcast [dot] net

Comments 

Schuylkill River Trail - Poplar Neck Bridge (West)
Posted May 3, 2019, by Dana and Kay Klein

George looks like these can be seen from Bridge you mentioned or East One.

Schuylkill River Trail - Poplar Neck Bridge (West)
Posted October 4, 2014, by Thomas H. (Trhols514 [at] comcast [dot] net)

It is remarkable how these structures have stood the test of time--in fact, 2018 will be the Centennial for this one and the one less than a mile east. At the west end of this bridge is one of the few paved off-road sections of the Thun Trail, paid for by Brentwood Industries, whose grounds it passes through. The reason two bridges so close together were necessary, of course, is the river winds sharply through this stretch, making an along-the-river railroad next to impossible.