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Hodgens Bridge


Photo taken by Brian McKee in November 2009


BH Photo #150130


Through truss bridge over Buffalo Creek on TR 476
Washington County, Pennsylvania
Open to traffic
Future prospects
Available for reuse
Built 1889
- Penn Bridge Co. of Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania
Pratt through truss
Span length: 103.0 ft.
Total length: 103.0 ft.
Deck width: 14.0 ft.
Eligible for the National Register of Historic Places
Approximate latitude, longitude
+40.16667, -80.38000   (decimal degrees)
40°10'00" N, 80°22'48" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
17/552794/4446440 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
West Middletown
Average daily traffic (as of 1990)
Inventory numbers
PA 62 7202 0476 4029 (Pennsylvania Bridge Management System number)
PANBI 35246 (Pennsylvania BRKEY bridge number on the 2011 NBI)
BH 31784 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection report (as of April 2017)
Overall condition: Poor
Superstructure condition rating: Serious (3 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Poor (4 out of 9)
Deck condition rating: Satisfactory (6 out of 9)
Sufficiency rating: 21.9 (out of 100)
View more at BridgeReports.com

Update Log 

  • May 29, 2017: Updated by Christopher Finigan: Added category "Pin-connected"
  • November 30, 2009: New photos from Brian McKee



Hodgens Bridge
Posted October 27, 2018, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

How easy would it be to straighten out this road and leave the historic bridge in place?

Apparently too complicated for PennDOT!

Hodgens Bridge
Posted October 27, 2018, by Art S. (asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)



She has a bridge over Buffalo Creek she'd like to sell you

Barbara Miller May 17, 2018

Lisa Cessna has never been to Brooklyn, but she has a bridge she wants to sell you.

How’d you like to be the new owner of the Hodgens Bridge over Buffalo Creek at Walker Hill Road near Taylorstown in bucolic Washington County?

With a mere three-ton weight limit, county officials know the Hodgens Bridge needs to be replaced, according to Cessna, who, as executive director of the Washington County Planning Commission, oversees county bridges.

“We’re trying to mitigate the loss of a historic structure,” Cessna said this week.

The new owner can’t buy the bridge and set up a tollbooth. The bridge will have to be moved.

If it’s still standing somewhere next year, the Hodgens Bridge will reach the ripe old age of 130, predating mass production of the automobile.

The sale is being advertised on a PennDOT website until August. If no one’s shopping for a span, the county has permission to demolish it.

It’s safe to say it has outlived those who built it. According to the “Historic Bridges” website, Hodgens was constructed by Penn Bridge Co. of Beaver Falls, Beaver County.

“Historic metal truss bridges are an important part of Pennsylvania’s industrial heritage,” wrote Howard Pollman, director for the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission’s external affairs, in response to an email inquiry.

“Unfortunately, modern traffic needs and a lack of maintenance funding have accelerated the loss of these bridges in recent years, with over 50 percent of the population of metal truss bridges being lost since 2001.

“In an effort to preserve these bridges, PennDOT, in concert with the State Historic Preservation Office, have developed a management plan that includes marketing metal truss bridges that can no longer meet the needs of their crossing.”

Interested in both preservation and serving the needs of the modern traveling public, the state Historical and Museum Commission gave Washington County some leeway in dealing with a pair of its old bridges.

The county proposed a deal: It would save the Potter Bridge, also known as the Robinson Run Road Bridge in West Finley Township, and move it to a new walking and biking trail being developed at Cross Creek County Park near West Middletown. The Potter Bridge, built in 1881, is also considered a historic structure.

“We offered to add the Hodgens Bridge to PennDOT’s marketing website in hopes of finding a new owner who could adaptively reuse the bridge,” Pollman wrote.

Washington County agreed and the bridge is currently on the website https://www.paprojectpath.org/penndot-crm/bridges/bridges-fo....

The bridge is referred to as the Walker Hill Road Bridge on the website.

For bridge aficionados, the “Historic Bridges” website describes the Hodgens Bridge as a metal, seven-panel, pin-connected Pratt through truss.

Cessna looked into disassembling the Hodgens Bridge, and, because of its 100-foot length, the cost would be about $700,000.

“That one’s a really big structure,” she said. “If there are no takers, we’re then allowed to demolish it and move on.”

Offers for the bridge are being accepted until Aug. 15.