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Schuylkill River Trail - Poplar Neck Bridge (East)


Street View 


Formerly a Pennsylvania Railroad bridge, now carries the Thun section of the Schuylkill River Trail (Rail to Trail). One of two such bridges within ~3/4 mile of the other - both spanning the Schuylkill and built during the same year. This bridge entry is denoted by "East"; the other - West. Both bridges have adjacent stone piers immediately nearby indicating possibly a metal deck truss bridge existed prior. Kinks in the centerline of the current pathway immediately prior to the abutments at each end indicates a shift from the old bridge to the new.


Five span, open-spandrel arch bridge over Schuylkill River on Schuylkill River Trail - Thun Section
Reading, Berks County, Pennsylvania
Open to bicyclists & pedestrians only
Built 1918
- Conrail (CR)
- Penn Central Railroad (PC)
- Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR)
Five span concrete deck arch bridge with open spandrels. The middle three spans are ~172 feet span and have six open spandrels (three each side). Each of the two end spans are considerably shorter at ~142 feet. Unsure of the spandrel situation there as those end spans were obscured by heavy vegetation during a summer field visit.
Approximate latitude, longitude
+40.30823, -75.90624   (decimal degrees)
40°18'30" N, 75°54'22" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
18/422991/4462363 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Inventory number
BH 62661 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • August 25, 2014: New Street View added by Patrick S. O'Donnell


  • Patrick S. O'Donnell - 1 [dot] 991km [at] comcast [dot] net


Schuylkill River Trail - Poplar Neck Bridge (East)
Posted May 4, 2019, by George Oakley (Georgeoakley49 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

Dana and Kay,this bridge,the rte 422 bridge on street view is the one I reported on about the outside lane being closed while repairs were made to the abutment and whatever else was done.Also it is now open including the lane that was closed.Never thought to put the messages here.Smart move,Dana and Kay!

Schuylkill River Trail - Poplar Neck Bridge (East)
Posted May 3, 2019, by Dana and Kay Klein

Lots of Bridges in this Stretch!

Schuylkill River Trail - Poplar Neck Bridge (East)
Posted December 23, 2016, by george oakley (georgeoakley49 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

I actually had the wrong bridge.It wasn't this one.It actually was the Schuylkill River Trail-Poplar Neck Bridge (West).I looked at the picture again and recognized it as the other bridge,not this one.

Schuylkill River Trail - Poplar Neck Bridge (East)
Posted December 23, 2016, by george oakley (georgeoakley49 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

According to a book i looked at called 'The Passing Scene' Vol.24 i saw a picture of a truss bridge on page 197 which crossed the Schuylkill river between this bridge and the other truss bridge which is still being used by N/S.Any questions feel free to leave a message and i will return your message.I am revealing this message on the truss bridge because i read it in the description section.

Schuylkill River Trail - Poplar Neck Bridge (East)
Posted October 4, 2014, by Ed Hollowell (erhollowell [at] aol [dot] com)

One of the aggravating things about concrete bridges is how sometimes they are done right and hold up so well and other times they start to crumble 10 or 20 years after they are finished. I have noticed that early open spandrel bridges seem amazingly durable. Closed spandrel look more sturdy but never seem to last as well which I blame on the tendency of water collecting between the arches. (See my photos of Big Walnut Creek Bridge in Putnam County IN). Then you have the poor Mill Street Bridge to mess up that theory. http://bridgehunter.com/il/vermilion/bh43966/

Concrete seems to be the victim of 'Good Enough" syndrome. They learned how to produce them good enough and when the idea became excepted they stopped trying to maintain the quality and focused on price. Too bad!

Schuylkill River Trail - Poplar Neck Bridge (East)
Posted October 4, 2014, by Thomas H. (Trhols514 [at] comcast [dot] net)

It is remarkable how these structures have stood the test of time--in fact, 2018 will be the Centennial for this one and the one less than a mile west. Just a few hundred feet west of this bridge, the trail goes over a railroad on a wooden-deck bridge. While less than three miles from downtown Reading, this scenic gem is on one of the most adventurous sections of the Thun Trail.