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Red Mill Bridge

Photos 

Red Mill Bridge

Photo taken by David Case in September 2017

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BH Photo #403217

Description 

Replaced a bridge lost to a flood in August of 1888.

Facts 

Overview
Pratt through truss bridge over North Branch Blacklick Creek on TR 459
Location
Cambria County, Pennsylvania
Status
In storage or disassembled
Future prospects
In storage as of June 2022. May be preserved in a disassembled state for future reuse.
History
Built 1888 by the Variety Iron Works; closed 2009; disassembled 2022
Builder
- Variety Iron Works of Cleveland, Ohio
Design
6-panel, pinned Pratt through truss
Dimensions
Span length: 89.9 ft.
Total length: 89.9 ft.
Deck width: 14.4 ft.
Recognition
Eligible for the National Register of Historic Places
Also called
Duncan's Red Mill Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+40.51578, -78.90316   (decimal degrees)
40°30'57" N, 78°54'11" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
17/677637/4487118 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Strongstown
Average daily traffic (as of 2017)
200
Inventory numbers
PA 11 7204 0459 3001 (Pennsylvania Bridge Management System number)
PANBI 08736 (Pennsylvania BRKEY bridge number on the 2011 NBI)
BH 30607 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection report (as of April 2017)
Overall condition: Fair
Substructure condition rating: Satisfactory (6 out of 9)
Deck condition rating: Good (7 out of 9)
Sufficiency rating: 15.1 (out of 100)
View more at BridgeReports.com

Update Log 

  • June 14, 2022: Updated by Nathan Holth: Clarified bridge status.
  • June 14, 2022: Updated by Paul Plassman: Bridge is being demolished
  • September 19, 2017: Updated by Christopher Finigan: Added category "Pin-connected"
  • September 19, 2017: New photos from David Case
  • March 9, 2010: Updated by Nathan Holth: Updated Status: Bridge is closed to all traffic.

Sources 

Comments 

Red Mill Bridge
Posted June 15, 2022, by Paul Plassman

Nathan,

I certainly hope this one can be preserved in some fashion. I didn't realize just how rare the Variety spans were until I started researching them after finding out this bridge was being taken down.

Funny how counties always insist that bridges have to be full two-laners, even if the roadway is narrow and has a miniscule ADT. I get that they may be planning for future widening, but still...some roads just are not going to need to be widened, ever. I remember a small bridge in Michigan that Hillsdale County replaced a number of years ago....the road was basically a lane through the woods with trees literally growing right at the road's edge, and then they put in a full-sized concrete bridge that must have been at least 30' wide. The old bridge was nothing very interesting so it wasn't a big deal but the new one is still incongruous to say the least.

Red Mill Bridge
Posted June 15, 2022, by Nathan Holth (webmaster [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

Paul,

Its been a rough journey to try to preserve one of the few surviving Variety Ironworks bridges. The one in Michigan collapsed while I was trying to find someone willing to donate time/money to pick the bridge off its collapsing abutments. Lost another in Pennsylvania due to Section 106 failing to save that bridge. This ended up being another "emergency" situation where the abutments were falling apart. The bridge is sadly in bad condition but can be made good again if in-kind restoration is done (allowing for good replication of bad member sections). That may be a struggle too. Its going to need a new home, the county absolutely does not want a one-lane bridge on their narrow one-lane county road...

Red Mill Bridge
Posted June 15, 2022, by Paul Plassman

Nathan,

I found it somewhat confusing and contradictory myself. At least it appears that the trusses will be preserved in a disassembled state and not gone entirely.

Red Mill Bridge
Posted June 14, 2022, by Nathan Holth (webmaster [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

Paul,

You stumbled upon one of the worst written new articles I've ever seen. The bridge was NOT demolished it was (with considerable pressure from preservationists) non-destructively dismantled and put into storage.

Red Mill Bridge
Posted June 14, 2022, by Paul Plassman

Being demolished, but it sounds like the pieces may be stored for possible future reuse, at least temporarily:

https://www.altoonamirror.com/news/local-news/2022/01/red-mi...

Red Mill Bridge
Posted February 20, 2022, by Linda alexander (grizzlycouple [at] comcast [dot] net)

Could you send me all info you have on this bridge trying to find out the history

Red Mill Bridge
Posted September 2, 2021, by Nathan Holth (webmaster [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

I received the attached photos from the Section 106 team showing flooding at this bridge. This is of concern because the bridge is sitting on stone abutments that are failing. It is also of concern because despite being under Section 106 Review there is a unusually extensive multi-faceted effort to try to actually see this bridge preserved through the Section 106 process, and it has the support of local residents, something which isn't always present. So I am hoping this bridge is OK.