2 votes

Mott Street Bridge




BH Photo #360696


Street View 


Pratt through truss bridge over Sawkill Creek on Mott Street in Milford
Milford, Pike County, Pennsylvania
Open to pedestrians only
Future prospects
Rehabbed and opened for pedestrian use Jan 2020.
Built 1902 by Penn Bridge Co.
- Penn Bridge Co. of Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania
7-panel, pinned Pratt through truss
Length of largest span: 111.9 ft.
Total length: 113.9 ft.
Deck width: 15.1 ft.
Vertical clearance above deck: 16.1 ft.
Eligible for the National Register of Historic Places
Approximate latitude, longitude
+41.31867, -74.80208   (decimal degrees)
41°19'07" N, 74°48'07" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
18/516564/4574152 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Average daily traffic (as of 2007)
Inventory numbers
PA 51 7402 0426 0121 (Pennsylvania Bridge Management System number)
PANBI 30071 (Pennsylvania BRKEY bridge number on the 2011 NBI)
BH 31560 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection report (as of September 2017)
Overall condition: Poor
Substructure condition rating: Serious (3 out of 9)
Deck condition rating: Poor (4 out of 9)
Sufficiency rating: 24.7 (out of 100)
View more at BridgeReports.com

Update Log 

  • June 11, 2020: New photo from Patrick Gurwell
  • June 7, 2020: New photos from Patrick Gurwell
  • May 3, 2020: New photo from Art Suckewer
  • January 8, 2020: New photo from Geoff Hubbs
  • January 5, 2020: New photo from John Christeson
  • November 26, 2019: Updated by Tony Dillon: Updated status
  • December 15, 2018: Updated by Christopher Finigan: Added category "Pin-connected"
  • November 19, 2018: New photos from Alexander D. Mitchell IV
  • June 26, 2017: New photo from Dana and Kay Klein
  • August 20, 2016: New Street View added by Dave King
  • August 19, 2016: New photos from Andy Peters
  • December 7, 2014: Updated by Nathan Holth: This bridge is now doomed.


  • Nathan Holth
  • Andy Peters - anpete1971 [at] gmail [dot] com
  • Dave King - DKinghawkfan [at] hotmail [dot] com
  • Dana and Kay Klein
  • Alexander D. Mitchell IV
  • Tony Dillon - spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com
  • John Christeson - john_christeson [at] yahoo [dot] com
  • Geoff Hubbs
  • Art Suckewer - Asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com
  • Patrick Gurwell - pgurwell [at] gmail [dot] com


Mott Street Bridge
Posted December 30, 2019, by Nathan Holth (webmaster [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

Next time hire Bach Steel. And design it in a manner that allows Bach Steel to offer that lower price bid.

Mott Street Bridge
Posted December 30, 2019, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

I personally despise the narrow walkway. Keeping it at full width not only looks better, but it allows people to stop and enjoy the view from either side while still allowing ample room for active passage from both directions. The only positive I see from it is the ability to have an unobstructed view of the lower chords and part of the flooring system.

Mott Street Bridge
Posted December 29, 2019, by Art S. (asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)


Here is an older bridge restored and reopened for vehicular traffic, not just pedestrians for less than one third the cost: https://www.t-l.com/project_category/roads-bridges/page/2/ As a pedestrian crossing with a narrowed deck, the cost of Mott should have been much lower, even with the increased length.

The cost of this boondoggle was not two other bridges but 10 or more other bridges because this becomes a reference, cutting off restoration as an option in other cases.


I disagree, I don't blame lawyers. Lawyers find incompetence, they normally don't generate it.

These old bridges aren't in the computers. Therefore, their restoration requires old school engineering (doing the work) to establish requirements and a protocol.

The engineer was either:

Incompetent (had no idea how to figure out a course of action so he threw everything at it);

A coward (didn't trust his or others numbers and put in extraordinary fudge factors - basically a form of incompetence);

Spiteful (advised replacement and when rebuffed made those who contradicted him pay by insisting on the most expensive approach he could devise).

I'd love to hear another answer that fits the facts. I understand that 'the system' isn't set up to deal with historic bridge restoration efficiently but this is nuts and may close doors.


Art S.

Mott Street Bridge
Posted December 28, 2019, by Clark Vance (cvance [at] dogmail [dot] com)

Lawyers doth make cowards of us all.

If one deviates from standard practices and someone gets hurt, it can end up in court. It's pretty easy to argue in hindsight that something should have been done differently. Licensed professionals rely on published standards and research to guide designs. Since historic preservation is relatively rare compared to new construction, there is a much smaller amount of "accepted practice" to work from.

Engineers designing parts to retrofit historic bridges will either stick to very conservative standards or will be taking a risk that their experience and expertise will stand up if challenged in court.

This is a pretty clear reason to hire engineers who are willing to design from experience and expertise rather than trying to apply current standards to century old structures.

There are great some doctoral dissertations waiting for the right candidate if they can find committee members willing to approve.

Mott Street Bridge
Posted December 28, 2019, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

I've seen it happen way too often Art. And yes I agree that it hurts the overall perception of historic bridge preservation. This preservation should have come in at about a third of the cost it did.

While I am more than happy to see it restored, I can only imagine that a couple more bridges could have been restored with those wasted funds!

Mott Street Bridge
Posted December 28, 2019, by Art S. (asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)

I'm trying to determine how on earth they could find $1.6M of work to do to turn the old structure into a glorified footbridge. The county engineer and the vendors genuinely screwed those footing the bill and historic bridge preservation in general by this 'restoration'. They should be ashamed of themselves - particularly the engineer that came up with the specs and methidology. He's either incompetent, spiteful or a coward. And yes, I would say it to his face.


This is why governmental agencies are so quick to scrap historic truss bridges.

Thank you to the local residents, PENNDOT and PA for trying to do the right thing. Please be aware that these bridges can be restored and made safe for a fraction of the cost of this project.


Art S.

Mott Street Bridge
Posted November 26, 2019, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Back in their "Heyday" many of these bridges were originally painted bright primary colors. It's actually kind of hard to fathom given how we are so accustomed to seeing them in a "natural" rusty state. Now I'm not sure that Electric Blue would be dubbed as primary, but hopefully it will be a color similar in appearance to this one...


I've even got a theme song picked out for it...


Mott Street Bridge
Posted November 26, 2019, by Nathan Holth (webmaster [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

Trying to get to the bottom of the paint color. I guess it was supposed to be the same color as before. So Im a little confused. I don't think electric blue is a primer color is it?

Here are some rehab photos:


Mott Street Bridge
Posted November 26, 2019, by Art S. (asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)

Blue historic truss bridges seem to be a tend at the moment but not in PA. If what you say is true, the only other bright blue truss I can think of in PA is newer one in Meadville.

My concern is this restoration is a Catch 22. It has been preserved; but by doing so the way they did makes the challenge of restoring others in PA increase.

Mott Street Bridge
Posted November 26, 2019, by Nathan Holth (webmaster [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

Owners of bridges need to consider the benefits of writing Special Provisions into their contracts that enable out-of-state contractors with proven experience restoring bridges like this who may lack in-state Prequalification as Prime Contractors to perform the restoration work. I have never seen so much steel and effort needed to restore a simple Pratt truss. It is also possible the engineering firm forced a contractor to work this way, in which case it speaks to the value of hiring engineers with extensive experience restoring historic truss bridges, who may better devise lower cost, yet still safe, methods of restoring these bridges.

On a side note, I have been advised that the new color of this bridge is "electric blue" which apparently some people were not expecting.

Mott Street Bridge
Posted November 26, 2019, by Art S. (asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)

OMG! No wonder everything is getting torn down! If this is how they fix a bridge for pedestrian use, no wonder the costs are 10X that of replacement!



Art S.

Mott Street Bridge
Posted August 19, 2016, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

At this point, any effort by PennDOT to save an historic Bridge is a welcome one... Bolts or rivets.

Mott Street Bridge
Posted August 19, 2016, by Nathan Holth (webmaster [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

The news article (and older articles) were (as often happens) terribly inaccurate. The replacement of this bridge was proposed however the proposal included federal involvement, therefore it triggered Section 106. Demolition/replacement of vehicular truss bridges for pedestrian use is ludicrous. So we actually are seeing rehab getting a serious look. PennDOT continues to make a lot of really stupid reasons why riveting shouldn't happen, but we are at least seeing serious consideration to rehab (with bolts) and as a Consulting Party I am hopeful that this will be advanced as the preferred alternative for avoidance or minimization of adverse effect, thereby reversing original plans to demolish the bridge.

Mott Street Bridge
Posted August 19, 2016, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Thanks to Todd Baslee for the photo of the Crapper...

Mott Street Bridge
Posted August 19, 2016, by Andy Peters (anpete1971 [at] gmail [dot] com)
Mott Street Bridge
Posted December 8, 2014, by ArtS (asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)


You're absolutely right, my bad. I must have only been able to view a portion of the article when I saw it. Thanks for the correction!

Now, based on the corrected info: this is insane! The bridge could be rehabbed for pedestrians for the same price or less than the MOB!


Art S.

Mott Street Bridge
Posted December 7, 2014, by Nathan Holth (webmaster [at] historicbridges [dot] org)


Look at a little closer next time...

I see photos of a MOB and a project description that says this bridge is to be replaced.



Mott Street Bridge
Posted November 23, 2014, by george oakley (georgeoakley49 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

great.at least it will not end up being scrapped.keep everyone informed.thanks.

Mott Street Bridge
Posted November 20, 2014, by ArtS (asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)

Bridgehunter referenced. To be restored!: