This is a gracefully proportioned Parker through truss that looks beautiful. The bridge sits on the stone substructure of a previous truss bridge. The flooring system is encased on what looks like shotcrete/gunnite which would have been to protect the bridge from train exhaust.
PennDOT has bulldozed so many truss bridges in Pennsylvania, that any riveted bridge over 200 feet long should be considered historic, given their rarity today. The Historic Bridge Inventory makes it sound like Pennsylvania is filled with tons of 200 foot span truss bridges, which is not true anymore.
Information and Findings From Pennsylvania's Historic Bridge Inventory
Discussion of Bridge
The 5 span, 315'-long bridge built in 1931 consists of a 202'-long, rivet-connected Parker thru truss and 4 steel stringer approach spans. The truss has built-up section chords and rolled section verticals and diagonals. It is supported on ashlar piers, dating to a previous bridge, and the approach spans are supported on concrete abutments and piers. The bridge is an undistinguished example of the rivet-connected Parker truss type and design. Examples dating to before 1910 are not uncommon in the state, and later examples such as this have all standard details. According to city records, the bridge was built by the city to improve vehicular traffic flow, rather than by the railroad to improve its operations. It does not have a significant historic association with the development of the PHMC-determined eligible PRR Main Line. The bridge is not historically or technologically distinguished by its setting or context.
Discussion of Surrounding Area
The bridge carries a 2 lane street and 2 sidewalks over 3 active Conrail tracks, a transit authority busway, a city street, and a parking lot. The setting is an area of early 20th century warehouses and late 20th century office complexes that lacks the integrity and cohesiveness of a potential historic district. The railroad is the former Pennsylvania RR Main Line. Two tracks have been removed for the busway. The line has been determined eligible by PHMC (DOE 9/14/93).
Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: No
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