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Mill Creek Road Bridge

Photos 

Mill Creek Road Bridge

The Morning Call: March 30 1969

Enlarge

BH Photo #468822

Map 

Description 

Beckel design cast iron pony truss. Substructure apparently reused on the replacement bridge.

Bridge collapsed due to an overweight truck crossing it. The truck and its load weighed 32 Tons and the bridge was rated for 4 tons.

Facts 

Overview
Lost Pratt pony truss bridge over Jordan Creek on Mill Creek Road (SR 4009)
Location
Lehigh County, Pennsylvania
Status
Collapsed
History
Built 1876; Replaced 1975
Builder
- Beckel Iron Foundry & Machine Shop of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
Design
7-panel Cast Iron Pratt pony truss
Dimensions
Total length: 73.0 ft.
Also called
Jordan Creek Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+40.64978, -75.63407   (decimal degrees)
40°38'59" N, 75°38'03" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
18/446392/4500073 (zone/easting/northing)
Inventory number
BH 88735 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • January 13, 2022: Updated by Paul Plassman: Added categories "Cast iron", "7-panel truss"
  • January 13, 2022: New photo from Melissa Brand-Welch
  • March 27, 2020: New photo from Melissa Brand-Welch
  • March 27, 2020: Added by Tony Dillon

Sources 

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

Comments 

Mill Creek Road Bridge - The story of how the bridge collapsed.
Posted December 27, 2021, by David Keller (dmkeller [at] ptd [dot] net)

I am so excited to finally find a picture of this bridge.

We moved to Weidasville in the fall of 1973. It was either the next summer in "74 or the following summer in '75 when the bridge was brought down.

If I remember correctly, the bridge had a 3 ton weight limit. There was a dump truck with a load of gravel coming from Schnecksville, trying to avoid Schlicher's covered bridge. He got to the Mill Creek Road bridge and decided it would be too far to find another way to where he was going. The story is that his truck weighed about 10 tons and he was carrying at least 10 tons of stone. He cautiously drove onto the bridge and slowly drove over the bridge. It looked like he was going to make it over. His front wheels were on the other side when he hit the brakes at the stop sign, causing the weight to shift on the bridge and it took the whole thing down. The truck, with the load of stone, ended up in the Jordan. He apparently made it out with just a broken arm.

The locals joked that if he was going to ignore the weight limit, which he was over by at least 17 tons, he should have ignored the stop sign as well. He might have actually made it safely over the bridge.

My father had a photo of the truck in the Jordan Creek which I have not been able to locate but I can see it in my mind. I remember going down and exploring the area after the truck had been removed.