11 votes

Walnut Street Bridge


Walnut Street Bridge

Marker on City Island

Photo taken by Bob Morgan in May 2009


BH Photo #140665

Street Views 


Walnut Street Bridge collapse, Harrisburg PA 1996

Sections of the Walnut Street Bridge in Harrisburg, PA are carried away by flood waters and ice floes after the North American Blizzard of 2001 and subsequent thaw and rain. It crumples under the Market Street Bridge (3:05), the next bridge downstream in the Susquehanna.

Video posted by James Simmons

Play video on YouTube


Through truss bridge over Susquehanna River, (east channel) in Harrisburg
Harrisburg, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, and Cumberland County, Pennsylvania
Open to pedestrians
Built 1890; Streetcar traffic begins 1894; Rehabilitated in 1911 by Phoenix Bridge Co.; Streetcar traffic ends 1936; Closed 1972 due to damage from Hurricane Agnes; Several spans destroyed by ice jam 1996
- Albert Lucius of New York City, New York
- Dean & Westbrook of New York, New York
- Phoenix Bridge Co. of Phoenixville, Pennsylvania
- Cumberland Valley Traction Co. (CVT)
- Streetcar
Baltimore Thru Truss which consists of 14 Baltimore trusses using Phoenix Bridge Company's "Phoenix Column". Seven spans on the east side of City Island; three spans of western bridge destroyed by ice in 1996
Total length: 2,801.0 ft. (0.5 mi.)
Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on June 5, 1972
Also called
People's Bridge
"Old Shakey"
Approximate latitude, longitude
+40.25759, -76.88623   (decimal degrees)
40°15'27" N, 76°53'10" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
18/339593/4458053 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Harrisburg West
Inventory numbers
NRHP 72001115 (National Register of Historic Places reference number)
BH 42611 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • November 17, 2021: New photos from Patrick Gurwell
  • July 11, 2021: New photo from Art Suckewer
  • June 15, 2019: New photo from Art Suckewer
  • December 31, 2018: New photo from Jodi Christman
  • January 15, 2018: New photos from Royce and Bobette Haley
  • September 10, 2017: New photo from Dana and Kay Klein
  • September 27, 2016: New Street View added by Dana and Kay Klein
  • March 26, 2016: New photo from Art Suckewer
  • May 23, 2015: Updated by Luke: Edited history section
  • March 9, 2014: New Street View added by Luke Harden
  • March 3, 2014: Photo imported by Dave King
  • June 2, 2013: Updated by Luke Harden: Added category "Historic Civil Engineering Landmark"
  • June 2, 2013: Updated by Jodi Christman: Added 2nd county & corrected that it is not on Nat Reg
  • May 26, 2013: Updated by Clark Vance: Added category "Destroyed by ice jam"
  • May 26, 2013: New photos from Jodi Christman
  • August 12, 2011: New video from James Simmons
  • June 5, 2011: New Street View added by Jodi Christman
  • April 2, 2011: New photo from Jodi Christman
  • October 15, 2010: New photo from Jodi Christman
  • October 9, 2010: New photos from Jodi Christman
  • July 29, 2009: Updated by Bob Morgan: corrected typo
  • May 27, 2009: New photos from Ian Anderson
  • May 26, 2009: New photos from Bob Morgan
  • May 25, 2009: Added by Bob Morgan


  • Bob Morgan - morgans212 [at] att [dot] net
  • HAER PA-412 - Walnut Street Bridge, Spanning Susquehanna River at Walnut Street (State Route 3034), Harrisburg, Dauphin County, PA
  • Ian Anderson - macsignals [at] gmail [dot] com
  • Jodi Christman - masterofchaos [at] outlook [dot] com
  • James Simmons - james [at] simmons [dot] net
  • Historicbridges.org - by Nathan Holth
  • Luke
  • Wikipedia
  • Art Suckewer - Asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com
  • Dana and Kay Klein
  • Royce and Bobette Haley - roycehaley111 [at] yahoo [dot] com
  • Patrick Gurwell - pgurwell [at] gmail [dot] com


Walnut Street Bridge
Posted August 19, 2021, by Art S. (Asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)

I'm struggling with a nuanced issue. The Walnut Street 'People's' bridge has one pair of 1888 or earlier style portal braces (and missing its plaques). I believe they may have been added after 1890. Can anyone confirm?


Art S.

Walnut Street Bridge
Posted March 26, 2018, by Joe Yoman (ponchoman49 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

Was always bummed about the destruction of the 3 spans back in 1996. From the looks of it the piers look too small and unsubstantial to hold up such a long span so it should be considered a miracle that the remaining spans are still up today. This bridge has to be one of the longest structures of it's kind still left so more effort should have been placed on preserving this back in the 1990's. The 21st century and PennDOT are not being very kind to these beautiful structures.

Walnut Street Bridge
Posted April 25, 2016, by Justin (Weissj953 [at] hotmail [dot] com)

You stated the bridge collapsed in 2001. It actually collapsed as the result of the blizzard of 1996.