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Furnace Road Bridge



Photo taken May 2006 by Jack Schmidt

BH Photo #108742



Demolished June 20, 2012; note that National Bridge Index carried a date of 1932 for this bridge


Through truss bridge over Middle Creek on Furnace Road (TR 439), at the end of PA 3007
Snyder County, Pennsylvania
Replaced by a new bridge
Built ca. 1890 by the Variety Iron Works; rehabilitated 1995, demolished June 20, 2012
- Variety Iron Works of Cleveland, Ohio
Pratt through truss
Span length: 115.2 ft.
Total length: 115.2 ft.
Deck width: 15.8 ft.
Eligible for the National Register of Historic Places
Approximate latitude, longitude
+40.77542, -77.06704   (decimal degrees)
40°46'32" N, 77°04'01" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
18/325564/4515882 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Average daily traffic (as of 2010)
Inventory numbers
PA 54 3007 0010 0215 (Pennsylvania Bridge Management System number)
PANBI 31220 (Pennsylvania BRKEY bridge number on the 2011 NBI)
BH 31610 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection report (as of February 2009)
Overall condition: Poor
Superstructure condition rating: Poor (4 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Satisfactory (6 out of 9)
Deck condition rating: Satisfactory (6 out of 9)
Sufficiency rating: 20.7 (out of 100)
View more at BridgeReports.com

Update Log 

  • July 4, 2012: Updated by Nathan Holth: This bridge has been demolished and replaced.
  • March 31, 2010: Updated by Nathan Holth: This historic truss bridge is now doomed.
  • June 4, 2009: Updated by Brian McKee: Added GPS Coordinates
  • December 18, 2006: Posted photos from Jack Schmidt



Furnace Road Bridge
Posted September 14, 2010, by Matthew Lohry

If I worked for PennDOT, I'd be hiding my face in total shame right about now...

Furnace Road Bridge
Posted September 14, 2010, by Anthony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

This is an absolutely beautiful span that, unlike so many others, actually seems to have been maintained. Sadly, PennDOT never ceases to amaze (and disgust) me!

Furnace Road Bridge
Posted April 20, 2009, by Anthony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Thank you for the information.

Furnace Road Bridge
Posted April 20, 2009, by Gerry McGuire (gerrymcguire [at] sbcglobal [dot] net)

Variety Iron Works of Cleveland Ohio was a medium sized company.

My great grandfather J.P. McGuire was owner at one time.

Besides bridges, the observation towers at Gettysburg Civil war battlefields were built by Variety Iron Works of Cleveland Ohio. They built Lighthouses....all sorts of things I guess.

J.P. McGuire died in 1908, and the company was purchased by

Mr. Pikans(sp?) and Mr. Mathers. Sorry I can't think of their first names off hand. The company went on to be known as Interlake steel. Not sure what it is today.

Mather was the brother of the Mather that owned the ship that is docked in the Cleveland Ohio harbor as a museum.

sorry so sketchy, I've been searching family history and have been frustrated by how many McGuire names pop up.

The medalion with the Variety Iron works of Cleveland Ohio is on the cross pieces, second story on the Culp tower at Gettysburg. VIW also built the observation towers at Valley Forge, but those are long gone. Gettysburg refurbished the observation towers in 2000, so they are in great shape the ones that remain.

The War Department contracted with Variety Iron Works to build the Towers. The war dept had their own architechs and engineers, so VIW built accoring to their plans.

J.P. McGuire was a metallurgical engineer.

Tom L Johnson was the mayor of Cleveland at the time. Some of the big names in Cleveland; Hanna, Rockefeller, Mather,

Furnace Road Bridge
Posted May 14, 2007, by Anthony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Does anyone out there know anything about the Variety Iron Works? This is the nicest of their few remaining bridges that I have seen. I would be interested in knowing more on the company and it's somewhat quirky name.