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Center Village Railroad Bridge

Center Village Railroad Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: May 27, 2007

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Center Village: Broome County, New York: United States
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1908 By Builder/Contractor: Unknown
Rehabilitation Date
Not Available or Not Applicable
Main Span Length
Not Available
Structure Length
Not Available
Roadway Width
Not Available
3 Main Span(s)
Inventory Number
Not Applicable

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)
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Bridge Documentation

This is a three span railroad truss bridge on a long-abandoned railroad line. The bridge shows some signs of alteration, including replaced turnbuckles and overhead lateral bracing. Cantilevers from a sidewalk or outlook that existed at least on at least part of the bridge remain on the structure. A 1908 "plaque" is present on top of the portal bracing, but no builder is shown.

There has been talk of creating a rail-trail on this line. If this does materialize, it is important that the historic integrity of the historic bridge be maintained during the conversion to a trail, including the use of railings that do not obstruct the view of the historic structure.

Gordon A. Davids, P.E. provided HistoricBridges.org with the following extensive discussion about this bridge:

The Delaware and Hudson Railroad designation for this bridge was Bridge 3.15, located at Center Village, NY. It is 3.15 miles south of Nineveh Junction, on the Nineveh Branch of the former Pennsylvania Division of the D&H. Even though the mileposts on the Nineveh Branch were based on milepost 0 at Albany, the bridges were numbered from a mile 0 at Nineveh.

The Nineveh Branch on Bridge 3.15 was removed about 20 years ago, after the D&H acquired the former DL&W line from Binghamton to Scranton and clearances were improved in Belden Tunnel. Before that time, this was a route for high and wide shipments, typically from GE at Schenectady to the Erie at Jefferson Jct, and other railroad interchanges at Scranton and Wilkes-Barre. The D&H continued south of Jefferson Jct on the former Erie Jefferson Division to West Carbondale, and beyond to Wilkes-Barre on the D&H Pennsylvania Division.

The "lookouts" carried the telegraph, telephone and signal wires. There was never a walkway or roadway on the outside of the trusses.

An interesting feature is the non-symmetrical trusses. The east truss is heavier than the west truss, to accommodate the possibility of adding a second track on the east side. The present east truss would then become the center truss, carrying loads from both tracks. That presented a problem in later years, because the trusses did not deflect equally under load, causing "racking" of the floor beams and truss lateral bracing.

Sometime before I came to the D&H Engineering Dept. in 1966, they had run a strain gauge analysis on the bridge. That is probably the reason the turnbuckles were installed to equalize stresses in the eyebars. We found it very difficult to calculate an accurate rating on the trusses because of the non-linear behavior of the eyebar stresses. However, we were confident in permitting 315,000 lb cars on the route, along with any special heavy dimensional loads. Those included steam turbines from GE on the GEX 80000 series cars that weighed well over one million pounds.


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