1 vote

NS - Askew Bridge


File:Skew Bridge

Photo taken by Smallbones

View this photo at en.m.wikipedia.org

BH Photo #276679

Street Views 


This structure's three spans are extremely rare examples of true skew arches, in which the courses of stone are laid on helicoidal curves. Because the complex geometry is difficult to design and construct, only a few such bridges exist in the U.S. The Skew Arch Bridge was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.

-- Historic American Engineering Record


Stone arch bridge over 6th Street on Philadelphia & Reading Railroad
Reading, Berks County, Pennsylvania
Open to traffic
Built 1857
- Richard B. Osborne (Design)
- Conrail (CR)
- Norfolk Southern Railway (NS)
- Philadelphia & Reading Railway (1896-1923) (P&R)
- Reading Railroad (RDG)
Stone arch
Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on March 1, 1973
Also called
Skew Arch Bridge
Soap and Whiskey Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+40.34280, -75.92572   (decimal degrees)
40°20'34" N, 75°55'33" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
18/421377/4466216 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Inventory numbers
NRHP 73001590 (National Register of Historic Places reference number)
BH 60034 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • December 18, 2017: New photos from Peter Dispensa
  • July 22, 2017: New Street View added by Clark Vance
  • May 8, 2015: Updated by Luke: Added category "Helicoidal Arch"
  • March 2, 2014: Added by Dave King


  • Dave King - DKinghawkfan [at] hotmail [dot] com
  • HAER PA-116 - Philadelphia & Reading Railroad, Skew Arch Bridge, North Sixth Street at Woodward Street, Reading, Berks County, PA
  • Clark Vance - cvance [at] dogmail [dot] com


NS - Askew Bridge
Posted April 4, 2016, by george oakley (georgeoakley49 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

A very interesting article was printed in the Reading Eagle on 4-4-16.It mentioned the designer Richard Osbourne who designed it in 1857 for the P and R railroad which became the Reading Railroad in 1942.The soap part of the nickname comes from when a model of the bridge was created supposedly it was made out of soap.The whiskey part of the nickname comes from the men who constructed the bridge were supposedly paid with whiskey.Whether this nickname or the theories behind it are true no one knows.