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Stony Valley Rail-Trail - Rausch Gap Stone Arch

Photos 

Photo taken by Joe Coyle

License: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial (CC BY-NC)

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BH Photo #294427

Map 

Facts 

Overview
Lost Stone arch bridge over Rausch Creek on Stony Valley Rail-Trail (Nee Schuylkill & Susquehanna Railroad)
Location
Lebanon County, Pennsylvania
Status
Destroyed by flooding
History
Built 1853; Collapsed in 2011
Railroads
- Rail-to-trail
- Schuylkill & Susquehanna Railroad (SSUQ)
Design
Stone arch
Approximate latitude, longitude
+40.49953, -76.59774   (decimal degrees)
40°29'58" N, 76°35'52" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
18/364613/4484428 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Indiantown Gap
Inventory number
BH 63014 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • October 23, 2019: New photo from Geoff Hubbs
  • September 16, 2014: Added by Luke

Sources 

Comments 

Stony Valley Rail-Trail - Rausch Gap Stone Arch
Posted March 27, 2019, by Adam Keiper (AdamKeiper [at] ProtonMail [dot] com)

In June of 2017, the PA Game Commission demolished the stone arch and the eastern abutment of the 1850's RR bridge over Rausch Creek. Leaving only a portion of the western abutment, they poured concrete on top of the western abutment and poured a completely new eastern abutment. They re-spanned the opening with the same modern green steel bridge structure that had existed previously.

Unfortunately during their demolition, the PGC crew had allowed an excessive amount of large, hand-worked stones to fall into the creek. Previously, the area underneath the bridge had been the largest and best pool for flyfishing for small native brook trout and chubs within the entire length of Rausch Creek towards the confluence with Stony Creek. (Immediately upstream of the bridge are limestone diversion wells that treat acid mine drainage.) I just happened to be biking in that area that day and asked the crew if they had planned to remove the stones since it had been such a great flyfishing spot, and they indicated they were not interested in the least. The pool still holds native fish, but does not hold near the productive capacity as it did previously.

On a separate note, there are also the remains of two additional stone RR bridge foundations in Stony Valley; one a few hundred yards to the north of the Rausch Gap bridge on the Rail Trail, and another (the tallest and most spectacular), about 3.5 miles east across Gold Mine Run. In addition to the RR bridges, there are additional smaller 1850's wagon trail bridge abutments that exist within the greater Stony Valley.