Sorry about that Dana and Kay.Forgot to put my name and e-mail address on the last message.**it happens.
I will see if I can find one on the span when in the area Dana and Kay.Let you know what I find if anything.
George wonder if this bridge has a builders Plaque. Anywhere near you?
Dana and Kay,that is not the place i am talking about.I failed to mention that if you follow Maiden Creek Road from Calcium Road it will be the first access road after the farm on your left.It does show up as an access road which has a yellow gate across it if you go to satellite.Maybe this will help you because i remember that tunnel very well.
George think I see access road tunnel. Right before you get to Evansville road? Cant see well enough to be sure from Sat Views.
Dana and Kay,i was just thinking about this bridge because i used to fish at Ontelaunee Lake and remember crossing this bridge when i fished there.Anyway,Lehigh Cement which is at the end of this rail line is in the news which made me think of this bridge and rail line.Seems the Department of Environmental Protection is issuing a plan approval for this company to burn 15 tons of anthracite coal per hour in 2 dry kilns which will be shipped in via N/S.Of course emissions controls will be in place.Now,also on Maiden creek Road there is an access road tunnel on the left which goes under the N/S rail line.This access road is gated so you cannot enter.I do remember walking to it because you can see it from the road.Maybe somebody can dig up some information on it.Thanks to Lehigh Cement i remembered that tunnel.
Not a problem,Dana and Kay.Since PennDOT is having alot of structurally deficient bridges repaired or replaced around Reading it's only natural i look into it.
Brian... nice photos, I have had this bridge on my own to-do list for a while. I hope you do not mind that I took your first three photos, stitched them into a couple panoramic projections and uploaded them here.
George its all good! Thanks for being Berks County bridge spotter1
Thanks Dana and Kay.I was just going to look at this bridge on google maps to see if i could identify what kind of bridge it was.I do remember crossing this bridge in the past many times.You guys make my job of looking at bridges so much easier.Thanks again.
As per an article printed in the Reading Eagle on 5/19/17 Cumru Township Commissioners are requesting sealed bids for the services required for the repair of this bridge.Major work items Include(approximate quantities):Maintenance and protection of traffic during construction(LS),bridge debris containment system(LS),access and rigging(LS),milling of bituminous pavement surface(1,852 SY),concrete beam and deck repair(813 SF),seal cracks in concrete by epoxy injection(69 lF),replace existing deck drains(68 EA),replace existing deck joints(220 LF),apply protective coating for reinforced concrete surfaces(1,757 SY),install membrane waterproofing system on bridge deck(1467 SY),approach roadway excavation(52 CY),install 18" reinforced concrete pipe(40 LF),install type D-E endwall(1 EA),reset guiderail(63 LF),place R-4 rock protection(20 CY),and construction of bituminous pavement surface(1,852 SY).
To everybody who read the article i did fail to mention that this bridge and rail line are owned by Norfolk/Southern.This is their main rail line from Philly to New Jersey and possibly New York.I am also very familiar with it as for the eastern part of Pa from Reading to where it crosses over the Delaware River in Easton.
Thanks John! There is hope for us old dogs yet, still use Enoch the hammer sometimes!
By clicking the "whats here" button in the map, it shows this is Norfolk Southern. Our webmaster was quite kind to install this feature for us!
George believe this to be the bridge you mentioned. Any idea what Railroad this is?
All your freedoms are being taking away right now!
Just rode over the bridge today both outbound and inbound.The outbound traffic was two lane outbound and one lane inbound.Traffic was backed up heading into Reading whereas heading into West Reading from Reading there were no backups.Also the median has been removed and barriers are erected to keep lane traffic where it should be during the repair.
Here are some other repairs i forgot to include.New electrical lines will power 15 teardrop luminaires with decorative welded arms and steel banner arms.This will help illuminate the bridge at night.A new 5 foot wide shoulder will be added for bike traffic and emergency use.I think i mentioned this but the reticulated balustrades will be identical to the previous design.10 0bservation outlets(5 on each side)from the original bridge will be added.Each outlet will measure 7 feet 6inches wide and 4 feet deep.These will be open to pedestrians when finished so they can view the landscape while crossing the bridge.The underside of closed spandrel sections will be waterproofed with a smooth protective concrete coating to prevent damage.Also a new telecommunication housing will be installed.If i get any more information i will pass it on.
That makes sense with respect to insurance. Thanks for clarifying this for all of us.
Every bridge has to have some land under it and that comes in different ways. Easements, ownership, donation. The land conservancy is what allows us to open the bridges to use with insurance. The big I in our world. We had an interesting discussion with our provider and are looking for ways to bring it down.
These overhead costs are starting to run up and all of our fundraising for bridges is generally just for parts so we are looking at finding a corporate sponsor(s) that can help us build these heritage bridge parks around the country.
We also need people in each state to help us with local ideas, events, fundraising and the actual site management at a bridge.
Glad to hear the bridge is being saved; I always liked this one! Sorry that the fed funds were left on the table, I hope you are able to succeed without them.
Land conservancy? Does this mean that there will be some green space preserved around the bridge for use as a park? This actually makes great sense for a bridge that will stay in place for pedestrians. Keep up the great work, Julie!
Yes, we did. We bought another bridge that is going to stay where it is under the Workin' Bridges Land Conservancy, a part of NSRGA. Wow. We also left federal funds on the table because the hurdles and what ifs with no answer from PennDOT engineers were going to ensure that this bridge was scrapped. So we just bought it and we'll figure it out from here.
Thanks Dana and Kay.I love it when somebody mentions me,even when i find it funny.Anyway,this project is one huge repair of this bridge.Traffic seems to be adjusting to the new patterns while construction is going on.To continue from my previous post about what they are doing to this bridge while under repair,here is what they are doing.As i mentioned before the superstructure is being repaired along with replacement of all horizontal floor beams under the roadway and repair of deteriorating concrete on the bridge's ribs.Also total replacement of the railings and parapets.The observation outlets,which were closed in the 1950's will be restored.The piers will be will be repaired,reinforced and protected from water damage.The uneven pavement,curbs and frequent potholes will be no problem no more after repairs.Spandrels,lighting and other historical features that have deteriorated will be replaced.The deck and two supports of the Route 422 west on ramp will be replaced.This ramp is a separate bridge.Shotcrete which led to cracks,rust and exterior deterioration will be removed.Poor drainage, which caused pipes to leak,creating cracks,rust,uneven road surfaces and concrete deterioration will be fixed with new drains being installed.Water damage has also compromised the electrical lines on the underside of the bridge.The structure supporting the Reading side of the roadway also called a chamber had a historically inaccurate retaining wall demolished.No word yet on replacement details.The north-facing side is damaged by the weather.Construction is being performed to address severe issues.
Here is some more information on this bridge.A new electronic message board will be installed for traffic on the inbound side into Reading.New traffic signals and signs will be installed at Second and Penn street intersection.New inlet drainage system will be installed.Metal barriers will be installed to protect pedestrians.Concrete barriers will also be installed to protect and direct pedestrians to crosswalks.Sidewalks,curbs and roadway will be replaced.Obelisks will be placed on both sides of the Reading side of the bridge.These obelisks will be historically as accurate as possible.More to come tomorrow.
As per an article printed in the Reading Eagle on 5-7-17 starting today the Penn Street Bridge will have around the clock lane restrictions which means one lane of traffic entering the city until the end of 2019.During the final few months traffic will be reduced to one lane in each direction.Today also marks the closure of the access ramp that takes westbound traffic from the West shore bypass into Reading.There are posted detours for traffic around the construction.The 104 year old bridge with a daily traffic count of 34,000 will be getting the structural fixes and concrete repairs.From what i said and have seen myself in earlier posts there are chunks of concrete missing and cracks are noticeable across the span.The $42.6 million project includes concrete repair,superstructure replacement,ornamental lighting and ramp work.Traffic signal work,new signs and new pavement markings are also part of the project.
Go to YouTube and type in the movie Hollywood or Bust. 1956 Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin movie.
At 24 minutes and 5 seconds of the film you see them crossing Orrs Bridge. This was 1956 when it was a covered bridge. replaced in 1957 by the current bridge. On the north side you will see a large Sycamore tree. It is still there. 61 years older of course.
Very cool to see this clip.
Bridge is now closed due to structural problems.
I messed up; when I took pictures on April 11th, I thought I was photographing the Eckert Bridge when in reality I shot the Breakneck Bridge. I've moved the pictures to the correct bridge. Please accept my apology for the error.
Does anyone by chance know where you can park to access the trail nearby the tunnel? Thanks in advance! email@example.com
Took a walk around this bridge on both sides of the river on 4-22-17 to check out progress so far on the repair.Both the inbound and outbound lanes are still open and most of the work being done as of now is cosmetic work on the outbound side of the bridge on both sides of the river.I did notice 8 iron beams bolted underneath concrete beams on the inbound W.Reading side of the river.Don't know if they're for support.Only a guess.Also they did build stone drives underneath the 3 approach arches on the inbound side so trucks can get underneath them.The sidewalk is also being put in on the outbound side of the bridge.Let you know more when i can get down to the bridge.Usually when i'm bored.
Did you mean the Clarion River bridge near the confluence of Toby Creek and the Clarion River on North 5th Avenue north of Clarion? If so, I believe a photo of that bridge and it's replacement may be on Pinterest, here:
You might have to sign up for Pinterest to see it ...
Bridgehunter's page for the bridge is at:
When I went to Clarion State Teachers College 1960=62 we used to jump off the Toby Bridge into the Clarion River, useually under the influence of Iron City beer. I am writing my memoir about growing up in Clarion County, hometown Shippenville. Do you know of a photo of the old iron bride with the steel grid floor? Thanks, Joe
Got some information on this bridge.This bridge was replaced in 1912 due to advanced deterioration.
Dana and Kay,i was able to look at the plaque earlier today and saw that it was built between 1808-1809.Upon further research i also found out it was built by the board of public works and the man in charge of construction was William "Billy" Abbot Whitman Sr.
George, a bridge titan with better eyes beat us to it! Think it is so cool technology allows team research!
Dave you are Awesome! Appreciate your attention to detail and moderating to keep Historic well at least notable. Learned the difference in part from your work. Still don't want to discourage those in the learning curve , but an experienced critical eye is A GOOD thing. Thanks again for all you do.
Dana and Kay,when in the area i will find out and let you know.I know where to look to get the information but i would rather look at the plaque myself.Thanks for putting it on the site.
George if you are down that way see if has build date on Bronze Subway Plaque. Couldn't read from street view. Cool Bridge
Tony,do you know why or how it collapsed?
This bridge collapsed into the creek on April 11, 2017.
Bridges were replaced in 2011 / 2012
Thanks Dana and Kay.Luckily I saw pictures of this bridge in a book and followed up on it.The fun part with this bridge was actually seeing where it was.
Thanks Dana and Kay.Luckily I saw pictures of this bridge in a book and followed up on it.The fun part with this bridge was actually seeing where it was.
George, good team work. Hadnt heard of it till you posted info. Sounds like a neat area, lot of history.
Thanks Dana and kay Klein for putting this bridge on the site.I didn't notice your names on the posting until I looked.
I noticed I spelled pier wrong.Nobody's perfect.
As I said in a previous post today being 4-14-17 I decided to take a walk from where I live on south 6th street in Reading to the Schuylkill river and see what is left of the row.When I did get to where the row crossed the river I did see on the Reading side an abutment which was in great shape.the pier in the middle of the river and the abutment on the W.Reading side are falling apart.Stonework is falling into the river from the peir.I couldn't get over to check out the other abutment.Too much brush and no trail.There is also abandoned rail leading to this abutment but the rail still leads into the Reading Iron property behind a fence.
As per an article printed in the Reading Eagle on 4-13-17 West Reading police have issued 51 speeding tickets.Seems nobody can obey the 25 mph speed limit on this bridge.I will let the Reading Eagle know about the crack I found on the bridge on the outbound side.Also forgot to mention on my last post that when i was on the West Reading side of the bridge checking on the beams that were replaced underneath I happened to lose my balance and fell on my butt.Boy,did that hurt!
Second view. Road arrow click 4 times. Pivot left.
Just a great view of what the bridge is like now--trailhead parking. The rule is, when available, use the street view with puppies!
Street view won't hold the view for me either. Is the guy unloading his dogs someone we know from bridgehunter?
Yeah, after thinking about it you're right. If I happen to come across photos of the original bridge I'll create a separate entry. For now, I guess I can leave the fact that this is the second incarnation of the bridge and whatnot in the description.
Thanks J.P.Really didn't know much about this rail line.
Looks like the history has been updated/corrected. I can further confirm that bridges with this style railing in Pennsylvania are state standard design, usually dating to the 1950s.
The bridge in the pictures doesn't look like a through truss nor was the span shown built in 1852, though I suspect part of the abutments date to that time. May I suggest there be two entries, one for the covered bridge in your description and one for the bridge in the photos.
I followed the line several directions and added several tunnels and bridges. Some of them were already and active, and it looks like the tracks are still active as they branch off to a major coal plant.
J.P.,is this rail line active?I followed it towards Clairton and you can see on streetview on the Ravensburg Blvd bridge over the tracks a tunnel.If it isn't active it might be worth looking at.If it's already on Bridgehunters let me know.Thanks.
Based on Google Imagery the bridge has been removed, but I figured I would go ahead and add it.
I did take a walk around this bridge on 4-8-17 and saw that cosmetic work is being done on the sides of the bridge on both sides of the river.Looks like the parapets on the bridge might be getting saved from what i saw.Now that the Buttonwood Street Bridge is open the work will start on this bridge next month.
As per an article printed in the Reading Eagle on 4-8-17 this bridge is officially reopened.I personally went and looked at it on 4-8-17 after reading the article in the newspaper.As i reported earlier they did alot of cosmetic work around the arches underneath the bridge on both sides.They also were able to save the 2 parapets on both sides of the bridge.They did replace beams underneath both inbound and outbound lanes of the bridge on both sides of the river.As for the bridge itself both approaches to the bridge were macadam until the bridge which became concrete decking.Galvanized guardrail along with a new walkway made it appear nicer along with new light poles with lamps on each side of the poles.They did install drains so there will be no pooling of water.They did amazingly save the plaque which i could tell was the original by the patina on it.There was only one small problem which i saw and that was on the outbound side there was a crack above the first arch.Wasn't there originally.Could be from settling.I don't know.I took a picture.
Here is a photo of this bridge taken 6-30-2015.
As per an article printed in the Reading Eagle on 4-5-17 officials from Bethel and Tulpehocken townships have joined forces to protect this Civil War-era bridge,only 1 of 4 remaining in Berks County at a joint meeting Tuesday in the Bethel municipal building.Both townships will have engineers explore the possibility of weight restrictions on this historic three span arch bridge.Jacob Meyer,Bethel supervisors chairman,said the integrity of the bridge is threatened by trucks using this bridge and road as a shortcut.While the road is the responsibility of the townships the bridge is owned by Berks County.Here are some facts that might be debatable.This bridge was built in 1861,the year the civil war began.Samuel Hix was the builder.These facts were taken from the article i read in the Reading Eagle.In addition to this bridge the other 3 arch bridges include the 1841 Trexler Bridge in Albany Township,1 crossing the Union Canal outside Womelsdorf and 1 on private property that crosses Monocacy Creek in Oley Township.
Rich,thanks for the kind words which i don't mind sharing.As for this bridge i used to work for Cambridge-Lee Industries who Reading Iron Co became.I do remember going down to where this bridge crossed the river behind Cambridge-Lee Industries and seen piers in the river from this bridge.I looked in the history books of Berks County called the Passing Scene and saw this bridge.That's why i mentioned this bridge on Bridgehunters and i will make a trip down to the Schuylkill River to see what is actually left of the piers.Now might be a good time with the weeds down and less brush.Also i do live within walking distance which makes it more convenient.
Thanks so much for sharing this info!
As per an article printed in the Reading Eagle on 3-31-17 this bridge will be reopening on 4-7-17.This county-owned bridge was rated among the worst in the state before the overhaul.Total costs on the overhaul of this bridge was $14 million.What this means is that the overhaul of the Penn Street Bridge can begin after this bridge is reopened.
Updates on Watts Mill There is a meeting tomorrow between our state Rep and Penndot . Will know more then. But we have many groups on board to save the old girl. State Rep is a member of our historical society and is all for trying to save the bridge. Hopefully we can come to some resolution that does not include demolition.
I did take a walk over and around this bridge on 3-25-17.Most of the work I saw was being done on the sides of the bridge.The parapets as you call them are still on the bridge.Don't know when or what they will do with them.The arches are not being worked on as of yet.The railing on the outbound side has been removed.Hopefully it is replaced with a matching railing of the one that was there originally.Also the sidewalk is being worked on from what I saw.It is closed off to pedestrians at this time.As for the inbound side I can tell you the railing will be removed and the sidewalk replaced because I was able to see the street that runs underneath due to the holes through the sidewalk and railing.I also was able to look underneath the outbound side because they cut a hole so they could check the approach beams on that side.When I get more information I will probably take a stroll down and check it out.
Dave any updates? State Rep helpful?
As per an article printed in todays Reading Eagle 3-25-17 the $42 million rebuild of this bridge has already started but no deck work as of yet.This project will be fully undertaken once the Buttonwood Street Bridge is reopened which because of a snowstorm that we had pushed the opening back to 4-14-17.I am planning on taking a look at the work so far performed on this bridge maybe later today or tomorrow being Sunday.Curious as to what they've done so far on the West Reading side.I have posted some work that was done on the Reading side.The picture i did see showed a platform being built under the far arch on the West Reading side.
Yes, the bridge and crossing can be improved to hold those weights. The question as to whether they are willing to do that rather than demolish and replace the bridge is another story.
All information relating to the ongoing Section 106 Review (including my own personal comments) is in the public record and may be viewed on Project PATH by downloading the postings at the bottom of the page here https://search.paprojectpath.org/ProjectDetails.aspx?Project...
Just read the article.Art,can that bridge be strengthened to carry that higher weight limit?
Thanks for the essay Sherman Cahal. I grew up not far from there and passed it about 100,000 times in my youth.
If the intent is to reopen the crossing for vehicular use, there are three options:
1)The bridge can be restored to its original specifications. This would be adequate for cars but will likely not be deemed a practical solution.
2)the new crossing could be located up or down stream of the old bridge allowing it to be preserved in place - the lowest cost / best historic integrity option from a preservation perspective. However, this adds potential complications and cost to the new bridge that the governmental agencies will try to avoid.
2) The alternative is to relocate the bridge. This reduces the historical context and adds cost/complexity but ensures the bridge will be preserved (the old Meadville, PA Mead Ave. Bridge is an ongoing example of this).
If there is no intention of opening the crossing to vehicular traffic and converting this to a pedestrian crossing is desired by all, then things get a lot easier.
What help are you seeking?
As per an article printed in the Reading Eagle on 3-20-17 Berks County commissioners are working with Bethel and Tulpehocken townships to preserve this bridge.Damage to the wingwalls is a concern but what is really damaging this bridge is the idiots who drive construction equipment and tractor-trailers over this bridge which isn't rated weightwise for this bridge.Outside of posting signs,wouldn't a headache bar be a good idea to keep the heavy trucks off of these bridges?
Yes made by Penn bridge in Beaver Falls . We have the plate from the bridge in our collection at our museum will have to find it. The bridge will never be opened to traffic again and will not be rebuilt if torn down .However we are hoping it can be repaired enough to use as a pedestrian bridge as the North Country trail runs right by this site and has many users. We are getting all the local history organizations involved and have the local state rep on our side to save it. hopefully the state will see that tearing it down is not the answer.
Could the builder be TB White & Sons (Penn Bridge Works) which moved from New Brighton to Beaver Falls, PA in 1878?
Is there a group of local citizens willing to work towards preservation? If the bridge was restored, how would it be used?
Another interesting structure with a junction joining on the bridge. One of my favorite parts of my Pittsburgh Mainlines DVD.
I got a DVD of railroad action in Pittsburgh in the days prior to the combined NS/CSX takeover of Conrail and this bridge was featured early on in the DVD.
Interesting bridge as the rails are recessed into the girder structure. I can't figure out why it was designed that way in the first place, but it makes for an interesting video seeing the trains look like they are sinking.
Dave if you are near this bridge some photographs might help. I am not an engineer but know 2 things that are issues with old bridges. In layman's language look for pieces that are corroded so that there full original dimension has changed. Also look where two pieces plates parts etc meet. Is there rust in between these pieces? Those with knowledge on here call this section loss and pack rust. They are NOT a death sentence to a bridge but would impact any restoration. Your mission, photos, just use phone if need be , post on this forum.
If for some reason you haven't heard of them google Bach Steel...............
Keep us in the loop!
the bridge has been closed to traffic for years . But we can't let them take this one down . It is one of the last bridges left built by the West Penn Bridge company. I was just informed that our local state Rep will be meeting the Department of transportation in the coming week to discuss options how we can save the old girl.
Nice! A continuous pony truss - and a very old one at that! I would hate to see this one disappear. It is quite the rarity, I would think.
NRHP listed ! Dave not sure how to help but don't let this bridge disappear! Sure some of the more knowledgeable bridge savers in PA could give guidance . SAVE THAT BRIDGE!
Just saw a video on You-Tube about this tunnel.Very informative and the people did not go in it.Tunnel entrance wasn't too big.
I watched a video on you-tube last night about an abandoned tunnel called the Shuman tunnel which is on an abandoned right of way.After the video showing the people going through the tunnel and back to where they started and as they were leaving they crossed this bridge.This video was filmed 5 months ago and the people tried to say it was Longbottom Rd,not Long Hollow Rd to maybe throw people off.Not me though.As for the tunnel it looked to be in great shape and should be on Bridgehunters.
Aldo,i have a question.While watching the video the person talking mentioned a Market St bridge that you can see in the video.Is that the one over the Monongahela on bridge st?
Aldo,i have a question.While watching the video the person talking mentioned a Market St bridge that you can see in the video.Is that the over the Monongahela on bridge st?
Aldo,just saw the video on this tunnel on you-tube and have to agree.Looks like a lost cause trying to go in this one.Of course it doesn't hurt to hunt for other tunnels and bridges while in this area that might not be on bridgehunters.
Thanks for the information,Matt.Good to know it's still there.
Nathan, very cool!
PennDOT is working to develop a historic truss bridge management plan and these bridges are part of it. I am hopeful that this management plan will be a foundation toward an effort of preserving these bridges. I was previously unaware that all of these bridges (aside from Walp Road which I knew about) were Phoenix bridges. So I added a photo for each from the report, mainly for the benefit of myself and others who may wish to prioritize visiting these bridges above other bridges in the area.
I have no doubt that many of the dates given are incorrect. I would assume all to be pre-1900.
Adding six (6) still extant Phoenix Column bridges to this database in one day is quite a feat! Is there a back story?
Nathan, Impressive find!!
Nathan, in light of your photo, the 1910 build date seems unlikely.
This bridge was still there as of 2016. It can be seen in this video on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q43lwNE_P0c . Today I recalled a visit to this bridge in 2007 and was wondering if it was still there. Took awhile to locate it, but I'm so happy to know its memorialized here.