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Speicher Bridge

Photos 

Speicher Bridge

HAER Photo

Enlarge

BH Photo #477347

Map 

Description 

The Wrought Iron Bridge Company occasionally used this unusual truss. It has sometimes been referred to as the Hammond Truss.

Facts 

Overview
Lost through truss bridge over Tulpehocken Creek on Church Road
Location
Berks County, Pennsylvania
History
Replaced in 1978 with creation of Blue Marsh Lake
Builder
- Morse Bridge Co. of Youngstown, Ohio
Design
(2)7-panel Pratt through trusses. A variant that featured counters that crossed two panels.
Approximate latitude, longitude
+40.40469, -76.07539   (decimal degrees)
40°24'17" N, 76°04'31" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
18/408748/4473230 (zone/easting/northing)
Inventory number
BH 90089 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • July 28, 2020: Updated by Tony Dillon: Fixed the location per Historic Aerials imagery
  • July 27, 2020: Updated by Tony Dillon: Added truss type
  • July 27, 2020: New photos from Geoff Hubbs

Sources 

Comments 

Speicher Bridge
Posted July 28, 2020, by George A Oakley (georgeoakley49 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

Great idea,Tony.

Speicher Bridge
Posted July 28, 2020, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

We definitely need to ask a fisherman to investigate!

Speicher Bridge
Posted July 28, 2020, by George A Oakley (georgeoakley49 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

Tony,i showed my fiancee the pictures in the article you had listed and she doesn't remember the covered bridge that was pictured.I know from living in Quakertown my hometown that when Lake Nockamixon was built for example that there is at least one bridge if not more submerged in that lake.So anything is possible concerning submerged bridges in lakes that the Army Corps of engineers built.

Speicher Bridge
Posted July 28, 2020, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

...Although this might quell that notion:

https://berksnostalgia.com/before-blue-marsh/

Looks like there was another metal truss and a covered bridge as well.

Speicher Bridge
Posted July 28, 2020, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

George,

It is certainly a possibility that the bridge could have been left in place. I just checked Historic Aerials and the bridge was a good distance to the East of where the current bridge is located. That section is much wider, and could potentially be deeper.

Now all we need is somebody with a boat and a fish detector!

Speicher Bridge
Posted July 28, 2020, by George A Oakley (georgeoakley49 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

Art,my fiancee who grew up in the area and remembers this bridge told me that when the water level is low in Blue Marsh lake she could actually see the bridge in the water which means that this bridge is actually submerged according to her.This is what she told me so i'm not going to say she's wrong because i sure as hell don't need no argument from her.If there is proof of the demolition let me know so i can pass it on to her.

Speicher Bridge
Posted July 27, 2020, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

A real shame for sure! I was reading the HAER documentation, and the Morse Bridge Company had been formed only a few weeks prior to receiving this contract.

The use of double-intersecting counters was rather interesting. A design that was used occasionally by the Wrought Iron Bridge Company, and at least once by Massillon.

Speicher Bridge
Posted July 27, 2020, by Clark Vance (cvance [at] dogmail [dot] com)

Just a different set of values from ours. The best approach to preservation is to spread the values behind it.

Speicher Bridge
Posted July 27, 2020, by Art S. (asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)

Whoever allowed this bridge to be demoed is a barbarian.