4 votes

Riegelsville Footbridge


They painted it Happy Red too. Interested way the "excess verticals" become "stanchions" for the pipe railings.

Photo taken by Andrew Pearce in August 2012


BH Photo #238051



A fully subdivided Queenpost truss with extended end posts. You could call it "Pratt-enized" or a "straightened bow"; this fully modern truss is more than a little reminiscent of the original iron bowstring trusses that used to cross the canals back in the 1830s, but it has a flat top chord and "4 section end posts". Maybe, since it is a Pratt with a polygonal top chord, but one of just 3 sections, we should call it something with a hump that's smaller than a Camel. How about a Llama or an Alpaca? Seriously, this one is for fun, so enjoy yourself.


Queenpost pony truss bridge over Delaware Canal on pedestrian traffic from Durham St to the Riegelsville Inn parking lot
Riegelsville, Bucks County, Pennsylvania
Essentially new "fun truss" bridge added to Canal park walking tour
Built 2009
Modern Queenpost built from 6" box section steel.
Span length: 75.0 ft.
Total length: 75.0 ft.
Deck width: 6.0 ft.
Also called
Riegelsville Pedestrian Bridge
Delaware Canal footbridge
Gateway to the Highlands Trail
Approximate latitude, longitude
+40.59377, -75.19257   (decimal degrees)
40°35'38" N, 75°11'33" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
18/483705/4493681 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Inventory number
BH 53255 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • July 4, 2013: Photo imported by Dave King
  • August 25, 2012: Updated by Andrew Pearce: Added category "Wooden deck"


Riegelsville Footbridge
Posted August 26, 2012, by Fmiser (fmiser [at] gmail [dot] com)

In the header at the top of every page it states, "historic and notable bridges". So _I_ think that means not just historic. Of course, "noteable" is at least as hard to pin down as "historic". For me - if I find that a bridge catches my eye and I find it interesting, I'll list it here. I figure there will be at least one or two others - now or some future day - who will also find it interesting.

And for those fixated on "historic", there is a 1920's culvert near here that should fit everyones definition of historic - but I'm sure not going to bother including it!

So, Andrew, I say bring 'em on. I like this one! But then again, I'm just one little contributor.

Riegelsville Footbridge
Posted August 25, 2012, by Andrew Pearce

My county and the county next door seem to have a generic modern Warren pony design for fairly short spans that get normal loads. I've seen the same bridge in 3 or 4 places now, in several colors, and in single and double span implementations. I've started noting it as a local generic design, but it could be state wide or national for all I know. It works, the job gets done, and if you see enough of them they start to look cool.

I've been using the NBI map to point out the local bridges that aren't covered yet, and then hunting them down and posting them. We have hundreds around here. But I've drawn my own personal line at all the boring Pi-shaped slabs of concrete with railings that pass for bridges these days. I don't wanna do them.

But that whine isn't fair to the essential bridge meme though: bridges are what they are because they are the cheapest possible thing available that will cross from point A to point B safely and will last X years with Z amounts of traffic load. Oh, and these days, unless it's a massive project, all your parts had better be able to show up on a tractor trailer. Aesthetics lose out to finances; most local bridges are function over form, sometimes without even enough left over for a coat of paint. At times in the past civic pride sometimes meant that plenty was spent on the pretty parts, but after a couple decades of painting and scraping them every couple years the charm wore off.

And of course there are exceptions, where towns got together and demanded something pretty or inventive that they could also drive across, and that's great ... and I'm enough of a cynic to be aware that town leaders can see the dollar signs in that. Especially since I live in a NJ town that is known for it's 1870 iron bridge, and the little red mill next to it. And all the tourists who come and look and spend money every weekend.

Sure, to me a great bridge design is ALSO beautiful, most often as a side effect, sometimes due to ornamentation, but I don't see much beauty in plain functional cement. Blah. You can get there with metal, or with wood, or maybe even plastics and carbon fiber, but not with utilitarian concrete.

Riegelsville Footbridge
Posted August 25, 2012, by Luke Harden (lmharden [at] iastate [dot] edu)

Some users add the modern ones, I myself have added a couple of the modern ones (I added recycled railroad flatcar bridges). Some people on this site get really whiny about the inclusion of hte modern bridges, but if you want to add them, that's fine by me, and I know a plethora of other users who don't mind as well. I like the modern trusses. Whilst they don't have the same novelty and historic value as the older trusses, but they have better aesthetics when compared to a concrete slab or aluminum culvert piping, and they also have more charm than the aforementioned culverts. Just forewarning you that you'll get flack for uploading modern bridges.

Riegelsville Footbridge
Posted August 25, 2012, by Andrew Pearce (drew458 [at] barking-moonbat [dot] com)

Oh, are we only supposed to do "historic" ones? Nobody told me. I think a modern bridge that has a high cuteness factor deserves mention, and for all I know the computer simulations have shown that this is an effective truss shape.

Riegelsville Footbridge
Posted August 25, 2012, by Luke Harden (lmharden [at] iastate [dot] edu)

Also a wee FYI: When adding a city's name, you do not need to add the state name (especially not the postal abbreviations). The site automatically adds it for you.

Riegelsville Footbridge
Posted August 25, 2012, by Luke Harden (lmharden [at] iastate [dot] edu)

In before anon-boy gives you hell for adding something that isn't "historic"