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US-6 / US-19 Meadville Bridge

Baldwin Street Extension Bridge

US-6 / US-19 Meadville Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: July 1, 2006

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Key Facts

Location
Rural: Crawford County, Pennsylvania: United States
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1937 By Builder/Contractor: J. Lee Plumer and Engineer/Design: Pennsylvania State Highway Department

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
1983
Main Span Length
149 Feet (45 Meters)
Structure Length
300 Feet (91 Meters)
Roadway Width
34.8 Feet (10.61 Meters)
Spans
2 Main Span(s)
NBI Number
200006063014230

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)
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Bridge Documentation

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

Drawing

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 Saegertown, and the one near Venango.

The bridge superstructure was fabricated by Bethlehem Steel Company of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. J. Lee Plumer was a contractor for the on-site construction of the bridge.

Of the three bridges, this is the least skewed of those. It still has a slight skew though. This bridge should be preserved and not demolished because these three bridges together create a unique driving experience unlike that found anywhere else. Beyond the beauty, these bridges are plenty wide enough for modern traffic. The lack of dents on the portal bracing also suggests that most trucks can fit under the bridge too. They also have no posted weight limit. With the proper care these bridges could serve traffic for at least another century. It would be nice if PennDOT would give them the chance.

Information and Findings From Pennsylvania's Historic Bridge Inventory

Discussion of Bridge

The 1937, skewed, 2 span, 300'-long, riveted Pratt thru truss bridge is supported on concrete abutments and piers. In 1983 concrete barriers were placed inside the truss lines. 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. It was redesignated as part of US 6 following WW II.

Discussion of Surrounding Area

The bridge carries a 2 lane highway with shoulders over a stream in a sparsely developed, rural area with scattered 20th century residences, some now used as commercial establishments, and most built since WW II. 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 Meadville Bridge

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