4 votes

Etter Road Bridge



Photo taken by Jodi Christman


BH Photo #176935


FROM THE 1996-2001 PENNSYLVANIA HISTORIC BRIDGE SURVEY: The 1 span, 82'-long, pin-connected Pratt pony truss bridge was fabricated in 1904 by Nelson & Buchanan of Chambersburg. The bridge is historically and technologically significant for its association with a local builder and is one of only six metal truss bridges identified in Franklin County. It is a late example of the pin-connected Pratt pony truss design with an uncommon detail for a bridge of its age, cast-metal end pieces. The truss bridge is composed of standard built-up sections and eye bars and is supported on stone abutments. The open steel grid deck was placed in 1967. Nelson & Buchanan were established in 1883, initially serving as agents for the Pittsburgh Bridge Co., and after 1901 operating independently. The firm was a prolific builder of highway bridges, contracting with county and municipal governments, but only three extant metal truss bridges with the Nelson & Buchanan association have been identified in their home county of Franklin.


Pony truss bridge over Conococheague Creek on Etter Road
Franklin County, Pennsylvania
Replaced by a new bridge
Built 1904 by Nelson & Buchanan; rehabilitated 1967; demolished and replaced 2005
- Nelson & Buchanan Co. of Chambersburg & Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Pratt pony truss
Span length: 82.0 ft.
Total length: 82.0 ft.
Deck width: 12.0 ft.
Approximate latitude, longitude
+39.88308, -77.69923   (decimal degrees)
39°52'59" N, 77°41'57" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
18/269186/4418268 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Average daily traffic (as of 2009)
Inventory numbers
PA 28 7205 0456 3024 (Pennsylvania Bridge Management System number)
PANBI 17668 (Pennsylvania BRKEY bridge number on the 2011 NBI)
BH 30944 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection report (as of September 2017)
Overall condition: Good
Superstructure condition rating: Very Good (8 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Good (7 out of 9)
Deck condition rating: Good (7 out of 9)
Sufficiency rating: 80 (out of 100)
View more at BridgeReports.com

Update Log 

  • January 21, 2013: Updated by Luke Harden: Corrected builder.
  • December 28, 2011: Updated by Nathan Holth: This bridge has been demolished and replaced.
  • December 26, 2011: Updated by Jodi Christman: Added builder and description
  • May 25, 2011: Updated by Jodi Christman: Tweaked GPS
  • September 11, 2010: New photos from Jodi Christman



Etter Road Bridge
Posted December 29, 2011, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Just PennDOT's way of trying to fool us into thinking they might have done something good here...but I think we all know better by now!

Sounds like it was a rather unique pony truss built by a hometown firm...which means absolutely zilch in the Keystone State.

Etter Road Bridge
Posted December 28, 2011, by Nathan Holth (form3 [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

The 2005 project was a demolish and replace project. The photos on this page are of the replacement, but the listing refers to the demolished historic bridge. I fixed it so the listing shows as a demo.

Etter Road Bridge
Posted December 28, 2011, by Clark Vance (cvance [at] dogmail [dot] com)

I'm confused by this one. It looks like a beam bridge but the description speaks of a truss. Did the '05 rehab wipe out the truss?