Rating:
8 votes

Skinners Falls Bridge

Photos 

Photo taken by Doug Kerr in August 2007

Enlarge

BH Photo #174231

Street View 

Facts 

Overview
Through truss bridge over Delaware River on Skinners Falls Road (PA 1002)
Location
Wayne County, Pennsylvania, and Sullivan County, New York
Status
Intact but closed to all traffic
Future prospects
Possibly will be demolished in 2019-2020
History
Built 1902 by the American Bridge Co.
Builder
- American Bridge Co. of New York
Design
Pin-connected Baltimore through truss
Dimensions
Length of largest span: 232.0 ft.
Total length: 466.9 ft.
Deck width: 13.1 ft.
Vertical clearance above deck: 15.7 ft.
Recognition
Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on November 14, 1988
Also called
Milanville Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+41.66944, -75.05889   (decimal degrees)
41°40'10" N, 75°03'32" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
18/495097/4613077 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Damascus
Average daily traffic (as of 2017)
323
Inventory numbers
PA 63 1002 0230 0739 (Pennsylvania Bridge Management System number)
NRHP 88002167 (National Register of Historic Places reference number)
PANBI 35588 (Pennsylvania BRKEY bridge number on the 2011 NBI)
BH 31800 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection report (as of November 2018)
Overall condition: Poor
Superstructure condition rating: Poor (4 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Serious (3 out of 9)
Deck condition rating: Fair (5 out of 9)
Sufficiency rating: 15.8 (out of 100)
View more at BridgeReports.com

Update Log 

  • June 1, 2022: New photo from Paul Plassman
  • May 8, 2022: New photos from Patrick Gurwell
  • June 1, 2021: New photo from Geoff Hubbs
  • May 10, 2021: New photos from Patrick Gurwell
  • November 24, 2020: New photos from Patrick Gurwell
  • June 7, 2020: New photos from Patrick Gurwell
  • February 15, 2018: Updated by Amanda: Bridge is closed indefinitely and possibly will be demolished in 2019-2020
  • May 30, 2017: Updated by Christopher Finigan: Added category "Pin-connected"
  • January 1, 2017: New Street View added by Dana and Kay Klein
  • March 9, 2014: Photo imported by Dave King
  • August 25, 2010: New photos from Doug Kerr

Sources 

Comments 

Skinners Falls Bridge
Posted December 9, 2021, by Art S. (Asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)

Nathan,

Some preliminary thoughts.

1. Continue what you are doing - you need to keep applying pressure through normal channels.

2. Use various methods to educate the pubic and engineers that preserving historic bridges is practical and desirable in some cases.

- successful, cost effective restorations as examples

- educating engineers (making the needed info for engineers readily available and maybe adding to it)

3. Lobby for more restoration funds (like what was done for covered bridges). Thereby making preservation vs. replacement a merit argument.

4. Create a subset of contractors and engineers specialized in historic bridge restoration to reduce butchery and excess cost.

Regards,

Art S.

Skinners Falls Bridge
Posted December 9, 2021, by Nathan Holth (webmaster [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

Art,

I think we both understand the problems. What would be nice is to figure out some solutions otherwise pretty soon North Dakota is going to have more truss bridges than Pennsylvania and that is NOT a lot a truss bridges. If you think you have a different approach or anything that might help to save this bridge, I welcome anyone's efforts to save this bridge from demolition, it is one of the finest bridges remaining in the entire region. I believe the formal Section 106 process will begin next, which at least includes consulting parties, unlike the Purpose and Need thing they did.

Skinners Falls Bridge
Posted December 8, 2021, by Art S. (Asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)

Tony,

Agreed.

Nathan,

Technically you are correct. However, as everyone directly involved knows the rules, they know that to get the 80% fed funding (which is not available for rehab) they need to justify - on a non-monetary basis - why this old bridge just won't do. Any good engineer can skew that report either way without lying. If you need proof simply look at the crossings down river between NJ & PA which, as a group, are not managed by the DOTs. Somehow (fortunately), competent and capable engineers came to the opposite conclusion in spite of the circumstances of those bridges being more biased towards replacement than this one.

Your rebuttal post, which accompanied the report, is completely valid. However, if the report is accepted, now there is a document on record expressing a need for replacement. Then they are one step closer to the 80% payday and a beautiful new concrete slab.

If there wasn't a monetary incentive geared towards replacement, I suspect the report would more fairly weigh the pros and cons of rehab vs. replacement. That's what I meant by my prior post.

Regards,

Art S.

Skinners Falls Bridge
Posted December 8, 2021, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Lame policy if you ask me!

Skinners Falls Bridge
Posted December 8, 2021, by Nathan Holth (webmaster [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

Tony,

I believe this is a National Wild and Scenic River. Which means that preservation of historic bridges next to a replacement bridge is STRICTLY forbidden. Don't even get me started about how a law designed to preserve beauty and culture of a river forbids one of the most feasible forms of bridge preservation.

Art,

In this case, they are doing a new approach. Cost had absolutely zero effect on the report I attached. It was merely someone's interpretation of the Purpose and Needs of the crossing without any investigation into cost... that comes later. The Purpose and Need statement is what frames and guides the entire Section 106 process. So before the rehab cost can even be discussed and considered, alternatives can get dropped because they do not meet the Purpose and Need.

Skinners Falls Bridge
Posted December 8, 2021, by Art S. (Asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)

Tony,

The argument doesn't work. In PA it's a liability to leave it next to its replacement.

Nathan,

The problem to overcome is that the cost calculations used for restoration are inflated and 80% of the replacement cost comes from the feds. Given this, the need will always skew towards 40 tons and 2 lanes...

Before we can honestly debate load limits, use, and maintenance, we need to overcome the massive, inherent cost bias. Only then can we argue merit.

Regards,

Art S.

Skinners Falls Bridge
Posted December 8, 2021, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

There's ample room to the North to build a new bridge and leave the old one standing.

Skinners Falls Bridge
Posted December 8, 2021, by Nathan Holth (webmaster [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

As I feared, the future of this bridge continues to darken. This new Purpose and Need development process has resulted in the same outcome as the old process. According to PennDOT this rural bridge on a 4 digit SR route (with 3 digit SR route alternatives to the north and south) is an ESSENTIAL (despite being closed for many years now) route for massive farm equipment, 30 ton fire trucks, and all other manner of emergency vehicles and on top of that it needs bicycle lanes and sidewalks. All for a bridge with under 400 ADT. On top of that, the report recommends a 40 ton weight limit because of truckers disobeying the posted weight limit. So, rather than enforcing the law and punishing violations, they simply want to demolish and replace the bridge (a bridge of this design is unlikely to yield a posted 40 ton weight limit after an in-kind restoration.). See attached document.

Attachment #1 (application/pdf; 160,463 bytes)

Skinners Falls Bridge
Posted May 10, 2021, by Nathan Holth (webmaster [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

I would strongly encourage anyone on Bridgehunter.com who cares about historic bridges to fill out the following survey Patrick referenced. This is one of the most unique bridges on the Delaware River and unfortunately PennDOT is the lead agency for the project. They are doing this unusual public outreach BEFORE conducting Section 106. While I have been assured that this will NOT result in a preconditioned outcome of Section 106, I remain a little concerned given PennDOT's past track record for preservation such as with Pond Eddy. I believe there is benefit to filling out this survey and indicating that one of the purposes of this bridge is TOURISM... that the existing historic bridge is itself a destination and that to replace this bridge with a slab of concrete would not meet the purpose and need of the project, which I feel should include the preservation of this important historic bridge and tourism destination.

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/7V7ZFWW

Skinners Falls Bridge
Posted May 10, 2021, by Patrick Gurwell (pgurwell [at] gmail [dot] com)

Public survey open for Skinner's Falls Bridge thru June 1st

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/7V7ZFWW

Skinners Falls Bridge
Posted November 15, 2019, by Nathan Holth (webmaster [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

The speculation on this website about the bridge being at risk for demolition by neglect is well founded. That sounds like exactly what PennDOT is doing. https://riverreporter.com/stories/skinners-falls-bridge-to-r...

Skinners Falls Bridge
Posted August 13, 2018, by Brianna Tarness (briannatarness82 [at] gmail [dot] com)

This bridge remains indefinitely closed to all traffic including pedestrians, except for emergency vehicles. Detours are posted to the Cocherton-Damascus Bridge and the Narrowsburg-Darbytown Bridge.

I have not heard of any plans to demolish this bridge, which is fortunate given that this is Pennsylvania... however given that the bridge is indefinitely closed I wouldn’t be surprised if PennDOT deliberately does not maintain it and then uses that as an excuse to demolish this beautiful bridge a few years down the road.

I tried to get out to this bridge to do a field visit but the approach road is completely barricaded on both sides, including up to the curbs so that pedestrians can’t go around the barriers without trespassing on the front lawns of at least one business and one resident. Nice job, PennDOT. You’ve successfully kept all people away from this bridge so that now you can quietly let it rot away and then demolish it and replace it with a UCEB like you’re doing to the Pond Eddy Bridge.

Skinners Falls Bridge
Posted December 13, 2015, by ArtS (asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)

PENNDOT giveth and PENNDOT taketh away - CLOSED:

http://www.pahomepage.com/news/skinners-falls-bridge-in-wayn...

Skinners Falls Bridge
Posted October 25, 2012, by Nathan Holth (form3 [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

Also worth noting that PennDOT has triggered Section 106 with this bridge. The proposed undertaking is currently described as a rehabilitation project.

Skinners Falls Bridge
Posted October 25, 2012, by Rusty Hufnagel Pittsburgh Rigging (rustyhuf [at] gmail [dot] com)

Bridge is posted for a 7 ton weight limit Our crew will be rigging bridge for a safety inspection 10/29/12.... I will get some more pics for this site..........Rusty