8 votes

Lincoln Highway Columbia-Wrightsville Bridge



Taken from Wrightsville on the Old Lincoln Highway.

Photo taken by J.R. Manning


BH Photo #112543


Street Views 


From WIKIPEDIA and 1996-2001 PENNSYLVANIA HISTORIC BRIDGE SURVEY: This is the fifth bridge at this location. The 48-span, open spandrel arched bridge has 28 main spans. It is considered the world’s longest concrete multiple-arch bridge.

The east end of the bridge is in the Columbia Historic District

Constructed of reinforced concrete, the 5,183-foot (1,580 m)-long bridge (7,374 feet including spans over land) has 27 river piers, 22 approach piers, a 38-foot (12 m)-wide roadway, and a 6-foot (1.8 m)-wide sidewalk. 100,000 cubic yards (76,000 m3) of concrete and 8 million pounds of steel reinforcing rods were used, and coffer dams were built to aid in construction. Each span consists of three separate concrete ribs connected at five points by horizontal concrete struts, with the longest span measuring 185 feet (56 m).

American Society of Civil Engineers noted that it is "a splendid example of the graceful multiple-span, reinforced-concrete arched form popular in early 20th Century highway bridges in the United States."


When it was dedicated on Armistice Day, 1930, the Columbia- Wrightsville Bridge was the longest multiple-arch concrete bridge in the world. Twenty-eight three-ribbed open-spandrel reinforced concrete arches, each spanning 185'-0", carry the bridge across the Susquehanna between Lancaster and York counties. Another twenty spans make up the bridge's 6657'-0" total length. The span's construction was innovative because it involved the cooperative effort of two counties. Four bridges preceded this span at this historically important river crossing. The Columbia- Wrightsville Bridge was designated a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark in 1984, and was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1988.

- Historic American Engineering Record


Open-spandrel arch bridge over Susquehanna River on PA 462 (Old Lincoln Highway) between Columbia and York Counties
Columbia, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, and York County, Pennsylvania
Open to traffic
Built 1929; rehabilitated 1988
- James B. Long (Designer)
- Wiley-Maxon Construction Co. of Dayton, Ohio
Open-spandrel arch
Length of largest span: 185.0 ft.
Total length: 6,657.5 ft. (1.3 mi.)
Deck width: 38.1 ft.
Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on June 22, 1988
Also called
Susquehanna River Bridge
Veterans Memorial Bridge
Lancaster-York Intercounty Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+40.02833, -76.51833   (decimal degrees)
40°01'42" N, 76°31'06" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
18/370446/4432006 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Columbia West
Average daily traffic (as of 2017)
Inventory numbers
NRHP 88000764 (National Register of Historic Places reference number)
PA 36 0462 0010 0000 (Pennsylvania Bridge Management System number)
PANBI 21270 (Pennsylvania BRKEY bridge number on the 2011 NBI)
BH 31083 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection report (as of June 2017)
Overall condition: Fair
Superstructure condition rating: Fair (5 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Fair (5 out of 9)
Deck condition rating: Fair (5 out of 9)
Sufficiency rating: 80.2 (out of 100)
View more at BridgeReports.com

Update Log 

  • January 13, 2017: New photo from Alexander D. Mitchell IV
  • March 10, 2016: New Street View added by Luke
  • July 15, 2015: New photos from Royce and Bobette Haley
  • August 2, 2014: New photos from Patrick S. O'Donnell
  • July 2, 2014: New photos from Alexander D. Mitchell IV
  • April 4, 2012: New Street View added by Craig Philpott
  • April 4, 2012: Updated by Jodi Christman: Added # of spans and more description details
  • December 25, 2010: New photo from Jodi Christman
  • December 23, 2010: New Street View added by Daniel Hopkins
  • May 28, 2008: New photos from J.R. Manning
  • April 11, 2008: New photos from J.R. Manning
  • March 30, 2008: Updated by J.R. Manning: Added Bridge to "Lincoln Highway" Category
  • February 27, 2008: Updated by J.R. Manning

Related Bridges 


  • J.R. Manning - thekitchenguy [at] sbcglobal [dot] net
  • HAER Database - HAER Columbia-Wrightsville Bridge page
  • Lincoln Highway Association - The official website of the Lincoln Highway Association
  • HAER PA-473 - Columbia-Wrightsville Bridge, Spanning Susquehanna River at Lincoln Highway (State Route 462), Columbia, Lancaster County, PA
  • Daniel Hopkins - chimera [at] clovermail [dot] net
  • Jodi Christman - masterofchaos [at] outlook [dot] com
  • Craig Philpott - craigphilpott63 [at] gmail [dot] com
  • Historicbridges.org - by Nathan Holth
  • Todd Wilson
  • Alexander D. Mitchell IV
  • Patrick S. O'Donnell - 1 [dot] 991km [at] comcast [dot] net
  • Royce and Bobette Haley - roycehaley111 [at] yahoo [dot] com
  • Luke


Lincoln Highway Columbia-Wrightsville Bridge
Posted January 11, 2019, by George Oakley (Georgeoakley49 [at] yahoo [dot] com )

I counted 26 piers where the original bridge was.Am I right or wrong on the pier count?

Lincoln Highway Columbia-Wrightsville Bridge
Posted January 10, 2019, by for info

George 28 spans to this one adjacent to

Lincoln Highway Columbia-Wrightsville Bridge
Posted May 18, 2015, by Nathan Holth (webmaster [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

The 185 feet may be the clear span. It is not some random length (as often appears in the NBI); it is reported as the span length in literature I have from the centering fabricator for the bridge... but the centering fabricator would likely be interested in the arch length from the spring line, rather than c. c. of pier.