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PA 23 - Rohrerstown Bridge

Photos 

Rohrerstown Bridge

The accident that started the push for the bridge to be replaced; countless minor accidents previously.

Intelligencer Journal: July 15 1960

BH Photo #451376

Map 

Description 

Depending on which article you want to believe, this bridge could have been built any time between 1888 and 1901.

Facts 

Overview
Lost Warren pony truss over Pennsylvania Railroad Columbia Branch on PA 23
Location
Rohrerstown, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania
Status
Replaced by a new bridge
Railroad
- Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR)
Design
Warren pony truss with alternating verticals
Approximate latitude, longitude
+40.05399, -76.36559   (decimal degrees)
40°03'14" N, 76°21'56" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
18/383523/4434642 (zone/easting/northing)
Inventory number
BH 85806 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • July 2, 2019: Updated by Luke: Added category "Pennsylvania Railroad"
  • July 2, 2019: Updated by Tony Dillon: Added truss type
  • July 2, 2019: Added by Melissa Brand-Welch

Sources 

  • Melissa Brand-Welch - melissabrandwelch [at] msn [dot] com
  • Tony Dillon - spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com

Comments 

PA 23 - Rohrerstown Bridge
Posted August 5, 2020, by Tom Kipphorn (tkipph [at] gmail [dot] com)

Thank you for posting this. I've been researching Lancaster County's covered and open wood truss bridges. Nothing to prove it yet, but there is a strong likelihood that there was a wood truss bridge at this location prior to the Warren Truss bridge shown here. Regardless of whether the Warren Truss bridge was built between 1888 and 1901, there had to be some type of bridge before this one, as the railroad bridge to the east of Rohrerstown (PA/38-36-136x Columbia-Philadelphia Railroad Bridge near Rohrerstown) was built in 1830, and the Overhead Bridge at Mountville (PA/38-36-U07x, proven to be originally a wooden Howe Truss, replaced after 1886) was built about about 1842.

The road is old and appears on the 1824 Joshua Scott Lancaster County Map and the photo shows the Warren Truss bridge was built on stone abutments. The 1864 Lancaster County Atlas shows the crossing was on a skew even back then, as the photo shows the Warren Truss bridge on a skew, so the abutments were probably original.

There were two tracks at this location, the other track being off the picture to the right, so you only see about 1/2 of the bridge. I did a rough measurement using the Historicaerials.com scale and found it to be approx. 90ft X 20ft. All the other railroad crossings between the Harrisburg Pike and the bridge at Mountville were level with the roadway. Given the earlier date of 1830 for 136x, if there was a wood truss bridge here, it was probably either a Town Lattice or Burr, as the site is too early to have been a Howe-type Truss.

PA 23 - Rohrerstown Bridge
Posted July 2, 2019, by Melissa Brand-Welch (melissabrandwelch [at] msn [dot] com)

Thanks Tony ! As Always...I appreciate your help and support!

PA 23 - Rohrerstown Bridge
Posted July 2, 2019, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Hey Melissa... I just want you to know how much I appreciate all that you are doing!

PA 23 - Rohrerstown Bridge
Posted July 2, 2019, by Melissa Brand-Welch (melissabrandwelch [at] msn [dot] com)

Could you add the railroad information?

PA 23 - Rohrerstown Bridge
Posted July 2, 2019, by Luke

Melissa, I don't know exactly what you're wanting me to look over, but this pony looks similar to a lot of bridges I've seen in PA that cross railroad tracks.