Sadly its mostly too late, Pennsylvania's remaining on-system bridge collection no longer displays the unique collection it once had (excluding big cities like Pittsburgh where preservation attitude is somewhat different.) Those of us trying to save bridges in Pennsylvania now are mostly just trying to save Pratts and Warrens so to speak. That said, we still have seen an improvement in Pennsylvania and continue to work to maintain this improvement.
Very true. I recently re-read the listing for the cast iron pony truss bridge that you tried to save; it was actually painful, knowing the outcome.
Generally, its interesting to see how the internal rules cause PA to defeat itself. Hopefully the tide will turn.
Yeah trust me this demolition is a drop in the bucket compared to what they needlessly destroyed elsewhere in the past 10 years...
I was wondering that myself Art🤔
Stop shaking it. More than three shakes and your playing with it :^)
I still don't understand why Joel chose to beat on PENNDOT and accused them of being run by young whippersnappers based on a replacement that occurred 10 years ago.
I don't think we're discussing, moreso ripping (Fart pun intended) on Joel for trying to blame young people for something they guaranteed had no part in.
A 25 year old would be a relatively recent college grad, and unless PennDOT had severe case of nepotism, would likely not be in an administrative position. And if it was an actual attempted dig at my generation, the eldest millennials (1981) would've been just graduating college, and the youngest (1996) just beginning high school. Ergo none of them would be in an administrative position anywhere to put a bridge on the chopping block.
Any way you shake it, it doesn't add up logically,
Nah, as baby boomers become old farts, the increase in the methane they release will help to accelerate global warming :^)
Thank god for global warming otherwise it would still be a cold country :^)
The warmer it gets, the less salt used... Iron bridge enthusiasts for global warming!!! ;^)
BTW, why are we discussing something that happened 10 years ago?
Remember, we boomers won the Cold War so you younguns could live in a warm country!
Keep your ageism to yourself, or I'll break out the Boomer memes.
PennDOT- the haters of historical truss bridges strikes again! Are they being run by 25 year olds? There dumb policy of destroying the old bridge at extra cost to the taxpayers instead of just leaving it in place for pedestrians seems more out of spite than anything else!
Are they even going to put a slab in? Maybe its a demo only, with no replacement?
And in typical "we don't care about historical bridges" fashion PA can't wait to replace it with an ugly boring cookie cutter cement slab! Guess I need to get out to this one before they destroy it!
I've seen them on some Stone Arch spans in Indiana. Likely added by a county engineer that may or may not have known what they were doing.
I see braces on the arches that look like they've been there awhile while looking on streetview.Has anybody ever seen these braces because I never did.
I remember walking under this bridge back before RBMC put the outer railroad station in that you can see from the bridge heading toward Rte 61..Awesome picture of the railroad station.
Photo 1 (BH 309262) is actually of the Poquessing Creek Bridge, located to the northeast
That project detail report (second link) claims this has been closed since 2006, which is a flagrant lie as all of the StreetViews in this area (none of which show closure) date to 2009, the photo-documentation on Historic Bridges dates to 2010, and the earliest showing of closure from BridgeReports is 2016 (though probably 2014, as that's when the first inspection came back with the superstructure rated Imminent Failure).
Bridge has been troublesome since 2006.
Construction begins in a couple years.
I had just heard from the boyfriend of my fiancees niece that this bridge has been closed to traffic for awhile.I looked on the web and didn't see no mention of this by any agencies including PennDOT.He mentioned this being that they live in Pennsburg and he works at Knoll furniture and he drives past this bridge almost every day.I also didn't see nothing in the papers or on the news about this.Would be great to know what's going on with this bridge because he didn't know.
Luke,i found the other bridge you mentioned.I saw it on the site.
I walked across it today.
Does anyone have pictures of this one?
I can't find the ones I had.
Spectacular old bridge!
The build date I've changed the entry to comes from the following ICC documentation: https://books.google.com/books?id=cSLxlZVpJB4C&pg=PA91&lpg=P...
A geocaching page (https://www.geocaching.com/geocache/GC2RBDA_susquehanna-bridges-curry-run?guid=a1ead3fb-5092-410a-b600-f5ab32b2344e ) gives a build date that is a decade off of the ICC doc, but also gives enough historical background of the logging operation run by James Mitchell (Who wrote a book about logging in the county https://books.google.com/books?id=11EluAAACAAJ&dq=mitchels+c... I'm confident in saying that the logging encampment the spur went to was the "Mitchells" mentioned in the ICC documents. The now-unincorporated community of Curry Run is at the north end of this bridge.
Anyone else considering this another open/shut case?
Next time hire Bach Steel. And design it in a manner that allows Bach Steel to offer that lower price bid.
I personally despise the narrow walkway. Keeping it at full width not only looks better, but it allows people to stop and enjoy the view from either side while still allowing ample room for active passage from both directions. The only positive I see from it is the ability to have an unobstructed view of the lower chords and part of the flooring system.
Here is an older bridge restored and reopened for vehicular traffic, not just pedestrians for less than one third the cost: https://www.t-l.com/project_category/roads-bridges/page/2/ As a pedestrian crossing with a narrowed deck, the cost of Mott should have been much lower, even with the increased length.
The cost of this boondoggle was not two other bridges but 10 or more other bridges because this becomes a reference, cutting off restoration as an option in other cases.
I disagree, I don't blame lawyers. Lawyers find incompetence, they normally don't generate it.
These old bridges aren't in the computers. Therefore, their restoration requires old school engineering (doing the work) to establish requirements and a protocol.
The engineer was either:
Incompetent (had no idea how to figure out a course of action so he threw everything at it);
A coward (didn't trust his or others numbers and put in extraordinary fudge factors - basically a form of incompetence);
Spiteful (advised replacement and when rebuffed made those who contradicted him pay by insisting on the most expensive approach he could devise).
I'd love to hear another answer that fits the facts. I understand that 'the system' isn't set up to deal with historic bridge restoration efficiently but this is nuts and may close doors.
Lawyers doth make cowards of us all.
If one deviates from standard practices and someone gets hurt, it can end up in court. It's pretty easy to argue in hindsight that something should have been done differently. Licensed professionals rely on published standards and research to guide designs. Since historic preservation is relatively rare compared to new construction, there is a much smaller amount of "accepted practice" to work from.
Engineers designing parts to retrofit historic bridges will either stick to very conservative standards or will be taking a risk that their experience and expertise will stand up if challenged in court.
This is a pretty clear reason to hire engineers who are willing to design from experience and expertise rather than trying to apply current standards to century old structures.
There are great some doctoral dissertations waiting for the right candidate if they can find committee members willing to approve.
I've seen it happen way too often Art. And yes I agree that it hurts the overall perception of historic bridge preservation. This preservation should have come in at about a third of the cost it did.
While I am more than happy to see it restored, I can only imagine that a couple more bridges could have been restored with those wasted funds!
I'm trying to determine how on earth they could find $1.6M of work to do to turn the old structure into a glorified footbridge. The county engineer and the vendors genuinely screwed those footing the bill and historic bridge preservation in general by this 'restoration'. They should be ashamed of themselves - particularly the engineer that came up with the specs and methidology. He's either incompetent, spiteful or a coward. And yes, I would say it to his face.
This is why governmental agencies are so quick to scrap historic truss bridges.
Thank you to the local residents, PENNDOT and PA for trying to do the right thing. Please be aware that these bridges can be restored and made safe for a fraction of the cost of this project.
I drove under that bridge (It appears to be the same one) and a local told me the lower structure was for catching falling chunks of concrete.
11 feet 7 inches bridge height is way too low for a tractor trailer to attempt to go under the overpass so the rig driver I just reported on in the previous article is going to be paying for what he did especially since the bridge height was posted on the overpass.
Add this bridge to truck eating bridges.A semi trailer was heavily damaged Tuesday morning when the driver of the rig tried to squeeze under the bridge.There were no injuries reported in what the local police are calling a crash that happened shortly before 10:30 a.m. on Leesport Avenue between West Huller Lane and Snyder Road.The driver stopped 250 feet south of the bridge after the attempt to clear the bridge at Willow Creek Road where the trailer load of fertilizer was offloaded and the rig was towed.The picture of the trailer showed a busted open trailer which did not look good at all.According to the local paper Leesport Avenue was expected to be re-opened later Tuesday.I have been on this road and am unsure if tractor trailers are restricted or not.
View #1 is the other bridge,Dana and Kay.
Thanks for posting this bridge,Dana and Kay.My fiancée never noticed the lettering on the bridge until I showed her.
The bridge is currently closed now. PennDOT is planning to replace it over the course of a year, from what I keep hearing on the traffic news on the radio.
Thanks for the information,Luke.
There were spans that mirrored the ones there now. with another span sngled to right instead of the left.
Trying to find a usable picture instead of just aerial imagery.
I was looking at the pictures and saw the extended pier along with the abutment at the end of Allegheny Ave.Was there another bridge here at one time?
I might have been the person anonymous who asked if this bridge was structurally deficient in 2014.I saw on street view one side of the bridge is closed.How long has that side been closed to traffic along with the sidewalk?
I just looked on street view and saw a structure built over the highway which looks like it protects traffic while they were demolishing the bridge.Is this technique widely used?
Dana and Kay,is this an old railroad bridge and is there any information on it?It does look like an abandoned railroad bridge to me.
Thanks,Dana and Kay.I thought maybe I missed it when looking for the listing on the site.
George looks like another, what do you think? Mercer county might have some OLD bridges
George its not. Looks like older bridge. Ill leave to more rail savvy for addition
I would have loved to see these bridges!
The Memorial Bridge was not replaced in 2010. This was a rehabilitation the deck and sidewalks were replaced but he original girders were modified to replace the suspended span elements ( pins and hangers ). The replacements were full depth girder pieces that made the bridge one continuous span from abutment to abutment. The girders are supported at the piers with new multirotational bearings.. A new expansion dam was placed at the north abutment. The piers and abutments are existing. The orinal bridge was fabricated by Bethlehem Steel Pittsburgh.
Is the abandoned truss bridge next to this one on the Bridgehunter site?
The question of repair or replacement is back in the news.
Luke- Is this the bridge?
I read in yesterdays local paper that rehabilitation of this bridge is not in the county's transportation plan due to PennDOT funding cuts.
I read in yesterdays local paper that construction on this bridge has been completed and the bridge is now open to all traffic in both directions on the bridge.This project was completed 2 weeks ahead of schedule.This project stayed true to the architectural style of the initial bridge built in 1913.The original streetlights were upgraded and an original plaque with the names of city officials along with a state historical marker were rehabilitated and attached to the southwest side of the bridge near second street.The upgrades include new traffic signs and drainage systems,walking and biking paths,and lights in obelisks along the bridge that change colors.Paperwork is also being submitted for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places.
The good old days riding your motor cycle across the bridge.
Early days in the late 70's and early 80's.
Is this a Cooper's patent bowstring?
I read in the local paper where I live that this bridge was reopened early Monday after transportation department inspectors determined it was safe to use after a barge hit it causing the bridge to be closed for several hours.There was no injuries on the barge or damage to the bridge.There was no word about what caused the barge to hit the bridge.
I just read an article about this bridge in todays local paper.When a new bridge was built over Manatawny Creek in Amity Township last year,the contractor removed a steel plate from the old bridge that read "Fisher's Bridge:1958".The designation confused Kevin Keifrider,an Amity Township supervisor,who says the bridge is commonly known as Weidner's Mill Bridge.This raises the question of where the name Fisher's Bridge came from.Fred J. Moll,an authority on covered bridges in Berks County,did a little digging and uncovered several newspaper articles from the late 1950's that refer to the bridge as Fisher's Bridge or Fisher's Mill Bridge.It is presumed the name Fisher came from a nearby mill that was called Fisher's Mill and perhaps later called Weidner's Mill.George M. and Gloria Jean Meisner's "The Passing Scene" says Fisher's Bridge was built in 1854 "near an old mill site",suggesting there might have been a Fisher's Mill.The website millpictures.com says One Sand Mill was on the site in 1800 and unfortunately burned in 1855.Mahlon Weidner built a stone/brick mill on the site in 1855,accounting for the origin of the name Weidner's Mill Bridge.Charles Miller,president of the Amity Heritage Society shed some light on the Fisher connection.A Fisher family once owned property near the bridge but was not certain if the family owned a mill or a nearby farm.On Oct. 30,1957 as the bridge was being dismantled to make way for a concrete bridge,tragedy struck the 103-year-old,16-foot-wide,129-foot-long wooden span on Blacksmith Road when it collapsed,killing one worker and injuring another.At the time the bridge was labeled unsafe and had a 3 ton restriction on it.
It was probably closed sometime between September 2014 and November 2016, actually - the latest StreetView on the bridge/on the drive itself is from 2014, while the latest NBI inspection says it's closed and that's 2016.
In any event, if you check the view at either end of the drive (views from 2018 and from just this past June), there are indeed barricades that block vehicular traffic, at least.
Can people still walk across?
This bridge has been closed to vehicular traffic since February 2017 yet on this page it says otherwise
Back in their "Heyday" many of these bridges were originally painted bright primary colors. It's actually kind of hard to fathom given how we are so accustomed to seeing them in a "natural" rusty state. Now I'm not sure that Electric Blue would be dubbed as primary, but hopefully it will be a color similar in appearance to this one...
I've even got a theme song picked out for it...
Trying to get to the bottom of the paint color. I guess it was supposed to be the same color as before. So Im a little confused. I don't think electric blue is a primer color is it?
Here are some rehab photos:
Blue historic truss bridges seem to be a tend at the moment but not in PA. If what you say is true, the only other bright blue truss I can think of in PA is newer one in Meadville.
My concern is this restoration is a Catch 22. It has been preserved; but by doing so the way they did makes the challenge of restoring others in PA increase.
Owners of bridges need to consider the benefits of writing Special Provisions into their contracts that enable out-of-state contractors with proven experience restoring bridges like this who may lack in-state Prequalification as Prime Contractors to perform the restoration work. I have never seen so much steel and effort needed to restore a simple Pratt truss. It is also possible the engineering firm forced a contractor to work this way, in which case it speaks to the value of hiring engineers with extensive experience restoring historic truss bridges, who may better devise lower cost, yet still safe, methods of restoring these bridges.
On a side note, I have been advised that the new color of this bridge is "electric blue" which apparently some people were not expecting.
OMG! No wonder everything is getting torn down! If this is how they fix a bridge for pedestrian use, no wonder the costs are 10X that of replacement!
No map was posted but this was most likely a W&LE-P&WV tunnel
I read in yesterdays local paper that a 34-foot wide,268-foot-long precast concrete bridge was opened on Wednesday at 3 p.m..This wider and longer span replaced a 78-year-old steel bridge that was closed Aug.6,2018.Traffic over the bridge had been about 1,270 vehicles a day,according to PennDOT.The nearly $3.7-million project included drainage,curb and sidewalk repair.Several structures in Shoemakersville needed to be demolished for the project to start.Work was completed a week early on this bridge.
I added it to the sources section but this bridge's previously missing plaque was returned recently: https://www.facebook.com/mark.strock.71/posts/14836778084515...
I read an article in todays local paper that a $17.5 million rehabilitation of this bridge has been reduced to a $6 million maintenance project due to funding cuts from PennDOT.
While looking at this bridge I do remember being under and by this bridge where it crosses over River Road.Also there is an abandoned bridge parallel with this bridge with rail that runs into Carpenter Technology.The rail looks like it's still on the ground on the Carpenter Technology complex.Satellite view shows the rail not connected to the N/S railroad beltline tracks.As far as I know the bridge hasn't been removed.
That's an awesome bridge!
Just saw on WFMZ69 news that this bridge barring any weather delays will open on Friday.
Nathan - No issue at all. I appreciate you're making the effort.
This bridge is not on the property at this time. I was in error in thinking so. After contacting the museum, I have learned that in the mid-1990's it was transferred to a contractor (reportedly in Nebraska?) for a gratis restoration. They hope to raise $75,000 to bring it back to the museum and install it on a bridge foundation in the yard. To this date it is still with the contractor.
The speculation on this website about the bridge being at risk for demolition by neglect is well founded. That sounds like exactly what PennDOT is doing. https://riverreporter.com/stories/skinners-falls-bridge-to-r...
replaced by new bridge
Thanks,Dana and Kay for posting this bridge.My fiancée remembered the previous bridge that was here and why they replaced it.
No offense taken. Discussions like this only increase our knowledge about our favorite topic. Your 3rd view is, I believe, a railroad car truck a little NE of the object in question, and close behind the aft end of a locomotive.. We do know that the bridge is, or perhaps was, on the property. As I said, it APPEARS to me to be the bridge--maybe not. Someone has to go and look. It would be a little bit of a hike for me, although not impossible. Has anyone asked the people at the museum?
It was not my intent to offend, I just was not sure I was understanding what you had stated correctly. The area in question (noted by arrow) is about 21 feet x 7 feet in lateral dimensions so if it is the Haupt truss it is either very meticulously disassembled and stored, or this is only a portion of the truss. I poked through some photos on Google and found some photos that MIGHT be of the area in question. Im not sure of the 3rd photo.
Read my entry again. "A Google Earth view appears to show it across the turntable pit from the roundhouse between two locomotives." It is at the foot of the red crossover over the tracks. The Google Earth view that I posted was merely an indicator where to look on Google, where it is possible to zoom in further.
Anonymous: It doesn't look like a pile of metal to me but an on-site investigation would clear that up. I am unaware of any other reference on this site concerning this bridge.
I will be happy to remove any part of the listing that is in error.
The pile of metal is the bridge, and according to another listing on here, this one is incomplete.
I am confused, the turntable bridge at this museum is a deck plate girder not a Haupt truss. Where is the Haupt truss in the aerial photo referenced? I see a pile of unknown steel/iron next to the south end of the red pedestrian overpass, is that where we are looking? If this Haupt truss survives I would be very interested to know more.
This looks like the bridge
Just read in the local paper that work has begun to increase clearance at this underpass.A contractor for N/S began preliminary work last week,removing the steel beam structure that was installed in early 2016 as part of a repair project to the stone arch bridge that carries 2 tracks over East Neversink and Painted Sky roads.Excavation to lower the road surface and increase the vertical clearance began this week.Looks like the work is finally being accomplished.
Agreed, Will is basically trying to do what Nels does with metal truss bridges... an effort that bears fruit in some states and not others...
Very true Nathan! And the main reason I started focusing on metal trusses when I returned from Florida in 1993. I do support Will however, and whole-heartedly agree that a covered bridge should be restored in-kind and not turned into a stringer with a decorative cover on it. It has been a struggle for me to enjoy the wooden covered spans like I used to after the obliteration I have seen of their metal counterparts.
You can complain all you want about PennDOT's covered bridge projects, but honestly this is Pennsylvania. Think of the countless metal truss bridges in Pennsylvania that didn't even get the opportunity to be altered, all thats left of them is an interpretive sign and a slab of concrete as a replacement. These covered bridges still have it a lot better. Simply put whether its metal truss bridges or covered bridges, if you want to see good preservation you really need to look at other states like Indiana. For the past 15 years Ive tried to convince PennDOT that other states are doing better metal truss rehabs, with only limited success. Im sure someone could try to make the same arguments with covered bridges and Im sure the result would be the same.
Tony,isn't this a historic bridge after the rehabilitation?
But at the cost of it's historic integrity George. Everyone will have their own opinion on this, but to me it's not worth it.
Tony,at least this bridge will be rehabilitated and hopefully last for a long,long time,
This looks (according to Satellite images) to be completely gone by/before 2014.
This brings to light the glaring differences between a true restoration and a rehabilitation.
Interesting that of the Skull and Crossbones.
Quicksilver (mercury) was sometimes painted on end-grain to curb rapid drying and checking and White Lead was sometimes smathered on joinery before assembly as a fungicide to prevent decay should leaks someday develop.
But I've never seen such a stamp.
My point was not that the bridge should not be restored, that would be ridiculous, it is after all, what I do for a living. (I'm 2950 miles from home in NorCal working on the Bridgeport as we speak) I was speaking to the absurd and unnecessary steel-stringerization that is part of the rehab.
And no, wood does not just up and rot. It takes long ignoring leaks in the roofing and the cladding. Sadly it takes a little outside the box thinking to do impromptu changes in schedule to inspect such bridges during a hard rain.
Will,i cannot agree or disagree with your views on this bridge.In my eyes,what they are doing is basically saving this bridge from the ultimate fate which could be destruction of this bridge.Remember one thing Will.Wood does degrade and rot after time if not maintained like it is with this bridge so I am strongly for restoration of this bridge which brings me to what i'm posting here today.I read in yesterdays local paper along with a picture of what the workers at Lancaster County Timber Frames found.Amongst the stories of ghosts associated with this bridge,workers at the company I mentioned found what looks like an iron stamp of a skull and crossbones on the end grain of the bridge timbers.Some of the pieces have multiple stamps.No one knows who put them there.Amy Good,shop manager at the company mentioned could not find any reference to this concerning covered bridges.She contacted Fred J. Moll of Blandon who is the also the historian of the Theodore Burr Covered Bridge Society of Pennsylvania who was baffled by the appearance of the universal symbol of death from the middle ages on this covered bridge.His research suggests the skull and crossbones were intended as a warning that toxic materials were used in preserving the timbers.As early as the 1850's,mercury,copper and lead were used in preserving wood,Moll found.Logs were floated down the Maiden Creek during construction of the bridge to the Driebelbis saw mill where they were cut into timbers.The saw mill has not existed for over 50 years so no records are available to show if the timbers were treated with preservatives.Amazing what you read about this bridge being that I live near it.
I was looking at pictures of bridges in a book called the passing scene vol.23 and discovered a covered bridge which was located where this present bridge is now.The name of the bridge was the Earlville Covered Bridge.This bridge was erected in 1852 as an open span and covered in 1856.It was a single-lane 16-foot-wide bridge that had a clear length of 130 feet.A marble tablet visible over the portal read "Manatawny Berks County Bridge: Jacob Young,Gabriel Filbert,William Knabb, commissioners.Builder Jonathan Bitner.The state replaced this span in 1938 with a modern cement structure.I don't know if the tablet or if anything else was saved from this bridge.
I've read it was 1988 or 1989 when Conrail abandoned the ex-LVRR bridge in favor of the parallel ex-CNJ bridge which was in better condition. Track swings were made at either end of the bridge to connect the Lehigh Line to the CNJ bridge.
What year exactly was this bridge abandoned?
I heard this bridge (and line) has been abandoned since 1976. Is that true?
Thanks Luke for finding the bridge.Didn't know the Gibralter Road Overpass was the bridge I was talking about.
"Quinter's Bridge, along Gibraltar Road between Suckertown and Gibraltar Village.This bridge was built between 1847 and 1848. Today, all that is in use is arch #2. The rest have been underfilled."