3 votes

York Haven Road Bridge


Photo taken by Jodi Christman on 12/31/10


BH Photo #191324


Street View 


This bridge was built by the Wrought Iron Bridge Company of Canton, Ohio, which was the most prolific pre-1900 bridge builder in the United States. Despite the relatively large number of bridges surviving across the country compared to other bridge builders, this bridge on York Haven Road is the only known example of a truss bridge in the entire country with the Pennsylvania configuration built by the Wrought Iron Bridge Company. The Wrought Iron Bridge Company preferred the Whipple truss for long truss spans.

This bridge is thus a nationally significant historic bridge, as the only known example a bridge built by the Wrought Iron Bridge Company to this design. The prolific Wrought Iron Bridge Company is a historically important bridge company and this bridge is an essential remaining part of the company's heritage, since it is evidence that the company did construct at least one Pennsylvania truss and the bridge documents how the company went about designing such a bridge. It also shows the versatility of the company; its ability to step outside the box of its standard selection of truss bridge spans, a versatility that likely enabled it to achieve its high level of success. Despite the different truss design, many key characteristics of a truss built by the Wrought Iron Bridge Company are present on the bridge including plaques and the connection detail at the hip vertical bottom chord connection. Beyond the association with the bridge builder, the bridge is also a rare example of a pin-connected Pennsylvania highway truss, and even further rare as a Pennsylvania truss with five slopes to the top chord and end post, making it essentially a Camelback Pennsylvania truss, which is quite rare.

The bridge has an extremely unusual detail where on some panels the bottom chord is composed of both eyebars and a built-up beam (paired angles with v-lacing). Built-up beams like this are designed for compression forces, while eyebars are designed for tension forces. Having both a compression and tension member on the same part of a truss is somewhat contradictory. It is unclear what the thinking was in this decision. Perhaps the designer thought that the sections of bottom chord might sometimes be in compression and sometimes be in compression.

The bridge retains good historic integrity for a bridge overall, but there have been some alterations including a few members that were replaced, some supplemental members added. and a few welded repairs. However these alterations are not sufficient to diminish the aspects of the bridge which give it historic and technological significance.

A replacement bridge was built in 1984 and this bridge was left standing next to its replacement. Although it appears that prior to closure the bridge suffered some modest impact damage to a member from a car the bridge remains in good condition, and could easily be restored for non-motorized use at some point if money and interest arise. CREDIT: HistoricBridges.org


Bridge over Conewago Creek on Old York Haven Road
Manchester, York County, Pennsylvania
Bypassed by a new bridge
Built in 1888 by the Wrought Iron Bridge Company; bypassed in 1984
- Wrought Iron Bridge Co. of Canton, Ohio
Metal Pinned Pennsylvania Through Truss, Fixed
Camelback Pennsylvania truss as it has Pennsylvania truss with five slopes to the top chord and end post.
Total length: 295.0 ft.
Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on June 22, 1988
Also called
Conewago Creek Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+40.08129, -76.71833   (decimal degrees)
40°04'53" N, 76°43'06" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
18/353493/4438194 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
York Haven
Inventory numbers
NRHP 88000795 (National Register of Historic Places reference number)
BH 47477 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • October 7, 2020: New photos from Patrick Gurwell
  • August 17, 2017: Updated by Christopher Finigan: Added category "Pin-connected"
  • March 9, 2014: Updated by Dave King: Added NRHP info & imported photo
  • February 3, 2011: Updated by Daniel Hopkins: Updated GPS and added city
  • December 31, 2010: Updated by Jodi Christman: Changed name and added details & description



York Haven Road Bridge
Posted April 1, 2014, by george oakley (georgeoakley49 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

i just saw that this bridge was posted to the historic register.will it be rehabbed or just rust away?any information would be greatly appreciated.this bridge can be rehabbed to look new.

York Haven Road Bridge
Posted February 1, 2014, by george oakley (georgeoakley49 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

does anyone know the current status of this bridge?please let me know.thanks.

York Haven Road Bridge
Posted December 31, 2010, by Anthony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

It does look rather odd seeing a WIBCo. product with a curved upper chord.........

York Haven Road Bridge
Posted December 31, 2010, by Nathan Holth (form3 [at] historicbridges [dot] org)


I have enjoyed seeing your photos for the York County bridges. A couple of them were under construction when I visited them this past spring, so I appreciate seeing the updated photos showing the latest conditions.

I do have one concern however.

I don't mind people making short quotations or paraphrasing portions of material from www.historicbridges.org with full and proper citation, but wholesale copy and paste of entire narratives on HistoricBridges.org is going a bit far. Also, when making a short quote or paraphrase from HistoricBridges.org, please insert a link to the individual bridge's HistoricBridges.org page under the Sources section of the BridgeHunter listing.

If you do not have the time to compose your own narrative for the bridge, and you like what I have on HistoricBridges.org, just add that direct link to my page under the Sources section.

Here is the direct link to this bridge.