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Mulberry Street Bridge

Photos 

Postcard of the Mulberry Street Bridge as seen from Allison Hill in 1913

BH Photo #181708

Map 

Description 

See HAER for more info.: http://loc.gov/pictures/item/pa3668/ Significance: An early and artful example of reinforced concrete, the viaduct was shaped by community and civic demands, the flexibility of poured construction, and the talented design of James H. Fuertes. This bridge links not two, but three locations: the industry of Paxton Creek valley, residences on Allison's Hill, and Harrisburg's downtown. When completed, it was among the world's longest and most complex reinforced concrete bridges.

Survey number HAER PA-497

Building/structure dates: 1908 initial construction

FROM THE 1996-2001 PENNSYLVANIA HISTORIC BRIDGE SURVEY: The Mulberry Street viaduct carries 2 lanes of traffic and 2 sidewalks over city streets, SR 230 (Cameron St.) and 9 tracks of Conrail's and Amtrak's railyards and lines in downtown Harrisburg. The viaduct connects midtown Harrisburg to Mount Pleasant (Allison Hill). The east end of the bridge is contiguous to the Mount Pleasant Historic District (listed 1/11/85), an area of predominantly late 19th and early 20th century industrial, commercial, and industrial architecture with a period of significance of 1800 to 1940. The viaduct terminates at its northwestern end adjacent to the Pennsylvania RR Station (listed 6/11/75).

The 20-span, 1598'-long, four-ribbed, closed spandrel arch bridge built 1907-1909 has distinctive piers that are ornamented in the Classical style with pilasters and entablature. In 1957, the bridge deck was replaced and the original 3 high rail concrete railings were replaced with aluminum railings. The bridge is an early and innovative application of reinforced concrete arch bridge technology in the state. It ranks as one of the two oldest of nine ribbed, closed spandrel arch bridges identified. The bridge is considered the first major reinforced concrete highway bridge in Harrisburg. It was built to replace a metal truss viaduct over the Pennsylvania RR's yard. The bridge is a historically and technologically distinguished example of the ribbed, closed spandrel arch bridge type/design.

DISCREPANCY NOTE: PENNDOT lists it as having 20 spans. I counted and there are clearly 19 just as HAER indicated

Facts 

Overview
Closed-spandrel arch bridge over Sr 0230 (Cameron Street),Amtrak on Sr 3012; Mulberry Street
Location
Harrisburg, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania
Status
Open to traffic
Future prospects
To be rehabilitated. Contract being let in late 2013.
History
Built 1909
Builders
- James H. Fuertes (Engineer/Designer)
- McCormick & Co.
Design
Ribbed closed-spandrel concrete arch
Dimensions
Length of largest span: 101.1 ft.
Total length: 1,598.2 ft.
Deck width: 28.2 ft.
Recognition
Eligible for the National Register of Historic Places
Also called
Mulberry Street Viaduct
Approximate latitude, longitude
+40.26083, -76.87750   (decimal degrees)
40°15'39" N, 76°52'39" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
18/340343/4458398 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Harrisburg West
Inventory numbers
PA 22 3012 0080 0233 (Pennsylvania Bridge Management System number)
BH 46451 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • December 24, 2017: New photos from Royce and Bobette Haley
  • January 23, 2015: HAER photos posted by Dave King
  • November 25, 2013: Updated by Nathan Holth: This bridge is to be rehabbed.
  • January 7, 2012: Updated by Jodi Christman: Added description and details on design
  • November 13, 2010: Updated by Jodi Christman: Added more information
  • October 9, 2010: Added by Jodi Christman

Sources 

  • Jodi Christman - masterofchaos [at] outlook [dot] com
  • Wikipedia
  • Nathan Holth
  • HAER PA-497 - Mulberry Street Viaduct, Spanning Paxton Creek & Cameron Street (State Route 230) at Mulberry Street (State Route 3012), Harrisburg, Dauphin County, PA
  • Royce and Bobette Haley - roycehaley111 [at] yahoo [dot] com