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West Middlesex Viaduct

West Middlesex Viaduct

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth and Rick McOmber

Bridge Documented: June 1, 2010 and November 1, 2015


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Key Facts

Location
West Middlesex: Mercer County, Pennsylvania: United States
Structure Type
Metal 11 Panel Rivet-Connected Pratt Deck Truss, Fixed and Approach Spans: Metal Stringer (Multi-Beam), Fixed
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1941 By Builder/Contractor: Bethlehem Steel Company of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania and Engineer/Design: Pennsylvania State Highway Department

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
1982
Main Span Length
202 Feet (61.57 Meters)
Structure Length
718 Feet (218.85 Meters)
Roadway Width
26.2 Feet (7.99 Meters)
Spans
1 Main Span(s) and 9 Approach Span(s)
NBI Number
43031800601201

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)

Bridge Documentation

This Bridge No Longer Exists!

Bridge Status: Demolished in June 2018, to begin replacement.

View Archived National Bridge Inventory Report - Has Additional Details and Evaluation

This bridge is slated for demolition and replacement!

This viaduct crosses the Shanango River, a Garfield Street on the eastern end, and originally crossed two railroads, one on each side, which have since been abandoned. The Viaduct structure is 718 feet in length, but including a 111 foot earthen approach, totals 825 feet. The bridge consists of a 202 foot truss main span with a series of steel stringer approach spans on either side of the truss, each measuring approximately 57 feet. The bridge was designed by the Pennsylvania State Highway Department and fabricated by the Bethlehem Steel Company.

The structure originally included decorative balustrade railings, decorative lighting standards, and a stairway near the western end of the Viaduct. Unfortunately, in 1982, the entire deck was replaced, and the original railings and standards were destroyed. The stairway does not appear to remain either.

Deck truss bridges are far less common than pony truss and through truss bridges. As such, each surviving example of a deck truss should be given a greater level of significance. Although the West Middlesex Viaduct has been altered, the superstructure of the main truss span remains intact.   

Information and Findings From Pennsylvania's Historic Bridge Inventory

Discussion of Bridge

The 1941, 10 span, 718'-long viaduct with a 202'-long, riveted Pratt deck truss main span is supported on concrete abutments and concrete two column and beam cap beam bents. The approach spans are steel stringers. The concrete parapets and deck date from 1982. Although a long example of a riveted deck truss, the main span has no innovative or distinctive details, and it is an example of common period technology. The bridge is neither historically nor technologically significant.

Discussion of Surrounding Area

The viaduct carries a two lane street and sidewalk over a stream and two abandoned railroad right-of-ways (formerly Erie and Pennsylvania railroads) of each side of the river in West Middlesex borough. All tracks have been removed. The viaduct is out of scale with the commercial area to its east that is dominated by parking lots and late 20th century infill buildings. There are also scattered 19th century commercial buildings. The area does not have historic district potential.

Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: Yes

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Photos and Videos: West Middlesex Viaduct

Available Photo Galleries and Videos

Click on a thumbnail or gallery name below to visit that particular photo gallery. If videos are available, click on a video name to view and/or download that particular video.

 
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2010 Bridge Photo-Documentation
Original / Full Size Photos
A collection of overview and detail photos. For the best visual immersion and full detail, or for use as a desktop background, this gallery presents the photos for this bridge in the original digital camera resolution.
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2010 Bridge Photo-Documentation
Mobile Optimized Gallery
A collection of overview and detail photos. View the photos for this bridge in a reduced size which is useful for mobile/smartphone users, modem (dial-up) users, or those who do not wish to wait for the longer download times of the full-size photos. Alternatively, view this photo gallery using a popup slideshow viewer (great for mobile users) by clicking the link below.
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View Photo Gallery
2015 Bridge Photo-Documentation
Original / Full Size Photos
A collection of overview and detail photos. For the best visual immersion and full detail, or for use as a desktop background, this gallery presents the photos for this bridge in the original digital camera resolution.
View Photo Gallery
2015 Bridge Photo-Documentation
Mobile Optimized Gallery
A collection of overview and detail photos. View the photos for this bridge in a reduced size which is useful for mobile/smartphone users, modem (dial-up) users, or those who do not wish to wait for the longer download times of the full-size photos. Alternatively, view this photo gallery using a popup slideshow viewer (great for mobile users) by clicking the link below.
Browse Gallery With Popup Viewer

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