Rating:
1 vote

Walker Hill Bridge

Photos 

Photo taken by Janis Ford

Enlarge

BH Photo #131881

Map 

Street View 

Facts 

Overview
Pony truss bridge over Owens Run on TR 346
Location
Greene County, Pennsylvania
Status
Intact but closed to all traffic
Future prospects
Slated for demolition and replacement in 2016.
History
Built 1911
Design
Warren pony truss
Dimensions
Span length: 57.1 ft.
Total length: 57.1 ft.
Deck width: 15.8 ft.
Also called
Owens Run Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+39.96805, -80.44685   (decimal degrees)
39°58'05" N, 80°26'49" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
17/547239/4424357 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Wind Ridge
Inventory numbers
PA 30 7216 0346 2078 (Pennsylvania Bridge Management System number)
PANBI 18539 (Pennsylvania BRKEY bridge number on the 2011 NBI)
BH 30969 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection (as of 11/2008)
Deck condition rating: Satisfactory (6 out of 9)
Superstructure condition rating: Poor (4 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Satisfactory (6 out of 9)
Appraisal: Structurally deficient
Sufficiency rating: 29.5 (out of 100)
Average daily traffic (as of 1993)
25

Update Log 

  • April 25, 2016: Updated by Nathan Holth: This bridge is now doomed.
  • November 23, 2015: Updated by Erik Hoffman: Bridge closed
  • September 29, 2013: Updated by Joshua Collins: corrected gps coordinates, changed from 39.966667, -80.441667 to 39.968045, -80.446846
  • November 16, 2009: New photos from Brian McKee

Sources 

Comments 

Walker Hill Bridge
Posted July 9, 2015, by Josie Collins (jdcollins [at] burnswhite [dot] com)

I want to thank everyone for all this information. I wish I had this information in the beginning when the bridge was taken out of service. I have been reviewing everything that was sent.

Walker Hill Bridge
Posted July 6, 2015, by Nathan Holth (webmaster [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

All I know is what's on the Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP). I am attaching a two page PDF, from information from the TIP.

You can browse the TIP on a map here: http://www.dot7.state.pa.us/tip_visualization/map.aspx

Note that TIPs change yearly, so don't assume a date you see for a bridge is set in stone.

Attachment #1 (application/pdf; 223,127 bytes)

Walker Hill Bridge
Posted July 6, 2015, by ArtS (asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)

Thanks Nathan!

Do you know the plans?

Regards,

Art S.

Walker Hill Bridge
Posted July 6, 2015, by Nathan Holth (webmaster [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

This is a county owned bridge by the way.

Walker Hill Bridge
Posted July 6, 2015, by ArtS (asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)

Josie,

It takes a bit of homework. First you need to find out who owns the bridge (PENNDOT, county, town, etc.). Then you need to find the documents that explain what the current plan is and how far along the plan is (these documents should be available to the public but finding them may be an adventure). The answers to these questions will determine the best/fastest approach to getting the bridge restored and open.

Regards,

Art S.

Walker Hill Bridge
Posted July 6, 2015, by Josie Collins (jdcollins [at] burnswhite [dot] com)

Who do I contact to preserve the bridge? Or to have it fixed? I will contact them today.

Walker Hill Bridge
Posted July 6, 2015, by Art S (asuckewerknite [dot] com)

Josie,

That is because they are designing a replacement bridge. The Feds will pay a percentage of the replacement costs if the new bridge meets their standards. So rather than simply fix the little old bridge you have, they are spending years and a fortune getting you a big glorious new bridge that will cost 10X or more than the repair cost of the old one.

If the old one meets your and your neighbor's needs, push to have it preserved, it will save tax dollars and can be done quickly.

Regards,

Art S.

Walker Hill Bridge
Posted July 6, 2015, by Josie Collins (jdcollins [at] burnswhite [dot] com)

Picture from Saturday.

Walker Hill Bridge
Posted July 6, 2015, by Josie Collins (jdcollins [at] burnswhite [dot] com)

I was wondering the same thing, Art. Why does it take approximately 4 1/2 years to get a bridge done? I questioned the engineers who got the contract for this bridge. I was given a number of reasons, none of which completed this bridge in a timely fashion. We will be going through another winter season with this bridge out. I never told them to make it better. I just wanted it repaired. This is what became of it. Years of waiting.

Walker Hill Bridge
Posted July 2, 2015, by Art S. (asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)

Josie,

My point was, why not simply repair and reopen it? It would be a cheaper and quicker solution. If it's for local use, a single lane seems adequate. Is there a reason replacement has been deemed necessary?

Regards,

Art S.

Walker Hill Bridge
Posted July 2, 2015, by Nathan Holth (webmaster [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

I have personally visited this bridge in 2013 and so I have some understanding of the condition of this bridge, particularly the metal trusses, which is an area in which I specialize, as do the engineers and fabricators I typical recommend to restore bridges such as this. http://historicbridges.org/bridges/browser/?bridgebrowser=pe...

First off, I am going to say the same thing here I said when people complained about the historic Charleroi Monnessen Bridge being closed for years. Absolutely all of the inconvenience could have been avoided if the owner of the bridge would not have been laser-focused on the needless destruction and costly, time-consuming replacement of the bridge and instead simply chose to repair the existing bridge. Plans and permitting for repair are typically much quicker.

Unless the intent is to drive large quantities of fracking trucks over this bridge and turn what appears to be a quiet residential road into a major industrial thoroughfare, there really is no need to replace this bridge, nor is there a need to add a pier under the bridge. Overall, the metal truss was in decent condition. The worst issue I noted was the existing paint system (possibly dating to 1978 based on a number I found painted on the truss) needs to blasted and repainted.

Stating that the bridge is "structurally deficient" or even "unsafe" actually doesn't tell us anything in regards to the problem of the bridge. I have not personally reviewed a bridge inspection report for this bridge. Even I cannot be sure of the exact problem. However, the bridge was actually reviewed to be in decent condition in the National Bridge Inventory as recently as 2008, which leads me to believe that bridge closure may be related to an isolated area of the bridge, such as the deck, bearings, or perhaps an area of section loss on a gusset plate. Such problems might lead to bridge closure, but also could be repaired to reopen the bridge very quickly. During my 2013 visit, I certainly did not see widespread section loss, pack rust, or damage to the truss superstructure, which are the typical hallmarks of an expensive and challenging repair project.

Overall, I would think this bridge could have quickly, and cost-effectively been repaired and reopened had the support been there to do so.

Owens Run Bridge
Posted July 2, 2015, by Josie Collins (collinsrex [at] netzero [dot] net)

In Response to Art S:

In the pictures it appears that the bridge is open. This is not correct. It has had jersey barriers in front and back of it for approximately 4 years. The structure of the bridge is structurally deficient and poor safety rating. The wooden floor of the bridge is deteriorated and unsafe, even for walking across. It needs to be reopened to traffic to the ridge and back. The alternative route of Iams Hill has deteriorated in the past few years. Since this bridge is a public bridge and road, it needs to be reopened for public use.

Owens Run Bridge
Posted July 2, 2015, by ArtS (asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)

Josie,

Why does the bridge need to be replaced?

Regards,

Art S.

Owens Run Bridge
Posted July 2, 2015, by Josie Collins (collinsrex [at] netzero [dot] net)

After numerous calls to Widmer Engineering in Beaver County speaking with Bridge Designers, I called every six months to find out when this work would be started. After preliminary design stage (1 1/2 years), design stage (an additional year), it is supposed to be a concrete base over the creek with additional higher weight limit.

I was told that this work would be started in March 2015. That time has passed. We are now scheduled for March 2016.

More than 25 people use this bridge. It is closer to 10-15 an hour. This was an access bridge for all people on the ridge as well as people coming from the mine up to the ridge.

The closing of this bridge caused many people to drive further to get home as well as expense of gasoline, not to mention winter months and the problems that that entails.

Really, not too many people know the bridge as Owens Run Bridge. It should be called Walker Hill/Owens Run Bridge. That would be more accurate.

I am hoping that work will be started in March 2016 as of my last contact with Widmer Engineering. This bridge has gone on long enough and has disrupted the lives of the people that used it in the past.

Owens Run Bridge
Posted October 14, 2013, by Derek Day (pensnut_21 [at] hotmail [dot] com)

This bridge is closed indefinitely. Jersey barriers block each side of the bridge.

Owens Run Bridge
Posted August 26, 2011, by Janis Ford (jford3 [at] columbus [dot] rr [dot] com)

Location slightly incorrect. Bridge is on Walker Hill Rd, at junction with Ackley Creek Rd.