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Big Chickies Bridge


Perspective View On South Elevation.

Photo taken by Historic American Engineering Record

View photos at Library of Congress

BH Photo #169009



FROM HAER: "Significance: The tied-through reinforced concrete arch Big Chickies Bridge, built in 1916, is a historically and technologically significant early and rare example in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania of a rainbow type tied design bridge with diagonal members."

FROM THE 1996-2001 PENNSYLVANIA HISTORIC BRIDGE SURVEY: 'The single span, 58'-long, tied thru arch bridge built in 1922 is supported on concrete abutments with U-shaped wingwalls topped by plain concrete parapets. The arch consists of two parallel ribs, vertical suspenders, and a concrete slab deck. Uncommon details with this example are the diagonal members and the lack of clearly defined tie girders. Without the plans, it is not possible to tell whether this is a true reinforced concrete thru arch or an encased steel thru arch, but nevertheless the design is unusual. It is one of two similar examples with the diagonal members in Lancaster County (BMS# 36 7213 0894 4002). The tied thru arch type/design was introduced in the United States after 1905 with the best known variation a patented design by James B. Marsh of Des Moines, Iowa. The bridge is the latest of 7 reinforced concrete thru arch bridges in Pennsylvania from 1907 to 1922. It is historically and technologically significant as a rare example of its type/design.'


Tied-through reinforced concrete arch bridge over Big Chickies Creek on Auction Road
Lancaster County, Pennsylvania
Completely demolished and replaced with a wider modern bridge with replica arches on the sides.
Built 1922
Concrete through arch with diagonals
Length of largest span: 58.1 ft.
Total length: 60.0 ft.
Deck width: 16.1 ft.
Eligible for the National Register of Historic Places
Also called
Auction Road Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+40.13081, -76.40587   (decimal degrees)
40°07'51" N, 76°24'21" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
18/380222/4443222 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Average daily traffic (as of 2012)
Inventory numbers
PA 36 7230 0875 0202 (Pennsylvania Bridge Management System number)
PANBI 45290 (Pennsylvania BRKEY bridge number on the 2011 NBI)
BH 31075 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection report (as of May 2016)
Overall condition: Fair
Superstructure condition rating: Good (7 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Very Good (8 out of 9)
Deck condition rating: Satisfactory (6 out of 9)
Sufficiency rating: 85.4 (out of 100)
View more at BridgeReports.com

Update Log 

  • June 7, 2012: Updated by Nathan Holth: This is not a concrete truss.
  • May 10, 2012: Updated by Nathan Holth: Fixes: This is not Weaverland Bridge. Bridge was replaced.
  • May 10, 2012: Updated by Jodi Christman: Added categories "HAER documented", "One-lane traffic"
  • July 2, 2010: Posted HAER photos