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US-6 / US-19 Saegertown Bridge

Main Street Bridge

US-6 / US-19 Saegertown Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: July 1, 2006

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
US-6 / US-19 (French Creek Parkway, Main Street) Over French Creek
Location
Rural (Near Saegertown): Crawford County, Pennsylvania: United States
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1936 By Builder/Contractor: Fort Pitt Bridge Works of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Engineer/Design: Pennsylvania State Highway Department

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
1980
Main Span Length
150 Feet (46 Meters)
Structure Length
300 Feet (91 Meters)
Roadway Width
30.5 Feet (9.3 Meters)
Spans
2 Main Span(s)
NBI Number
200006066008060

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)
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Bridge Documentation

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

This bridge is one of three similar bridges on US-6 / US-19 occurring within a fairly short distance. The other two are the one near Meadville, and the one near Venango.

This particular structure was fabricated by the Fort Pitt Bridge Works at their Canonsburg shop.

Pennsylvania's historic bridge inventory is a poor way to evaluate whether a bridge should be preserved. Bridges such as this one were not listed as historic, because they feel this bridge is common technology. HistoricBridges.org argues that yes, it was common technology... back in 1930! You don't find bridges such as this one being built on today's roadways. Also, sometimes a bridge is significant, not because it is unique and alone, but because it stands in a group. Such is the case with this bridge, which stands along with two others along this road. Because of their frequency on this road, the entire roadway is a unique bridge experience, that can't be had anyplace else. While aesthetics on their roads is obviously not a concern for demolition-happy PennDOT, it should be. Due to attrition, a scene like this: seeing three multi-span massive-member truss bridges within a short distance is historic. It represents what roads might have been like back to drive on in the late truss bridge era.

Information and Findings From Pennsylvania's Historic Bridge Inventory

Discussion of Bridge

The 1936, skewed, 2 span, 300'-long, riveted Pratt thru truss bridge is supported on concrete abutments and piers. In 1980 a number of verticals and diagonals had rusted areas removed and steel plate welded in their place. The bridge, built to a state highway department standard design, is an example of a common technology used since ca. 1895. It has no innovative or distinctive details. It was part of the rebuilding efforts following the devastating 1936 St. Patrick's Day flood when over 275 bridges were destroyed or damaged beyond repair. The bridge is neither historically nor technologically significant. Nor is the highway historically significant. Although now designated US 6, it was not a part of the original highway developed across Pennsylvania's northern tier. In the 1910s and 1920s it was part of SR 5, promoted as the Lakes to the Sea Highway, one of the many tourist trails in the state. Following the adoption of the federal numbering system in 1926 it was renumbered SR 19. Its was redesignated as part of US 6 following WW II.

Discussion of Surrounding Area

The bridge carries a 2 lane state highway with shoulders and a sidewalk over a stream in a sparsely developed, rural area with scattered 20th century residences just south of the borough of Saegertown. The area does not have historic district potential.

Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: No

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Maps and Links: US-6 / US-19 Saegertown Bridge

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