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Bower Bridge

Camp Corbly Road Bridge

Bower Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth and Rick McOmber

Bridge Documented: July 14, 2008

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Camp Corbly Road Over West Branch Susquehanna River
Bower: Clearfield County, Pennsylvania: United States
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
By Builder/Contractor: Unknown

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Main Span Length
131 Feet (39.9 Meters)
Structure Length
132 Feet (40.2 Meters)
Roadway Width
14.8 Feet (4.51 Meters)
1 Main Span(s)
NBI Number

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)
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Bridge Documentation

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

This is a nine panel truss bridge that is traditionally composed. The 1920 construction date that the National bridge Inventory listed for this bridge is incorrect. It does appear to be a later pin-connected truss bridge however, perhaps dating to around 1910. The bridge has been retrofitted and rendered decorative with a steel arch. The steel arch is a way to bypass the truss/superstructure, while continuing to reuse the deck stringers and deck system. They appear to be used both in the name of simple repair projects and also in the name of historic preservation, and tend to show up on older rehab and preservation projects from a decade or two ago and do not show up as often today. As a preservation tool they are one of many compromise preservation alternatives. As preservation tools, arch retrofits are compromise tools because they drastically alter the appearance of the bridge, since as a through arch running through the truss, it is hard for eyes to separate arch from truss visually. However, if deployed properly, they do not require any removal of the original superstructure, so original bridge material is not destroyed, which is a clear benefit versus other invasive preservation solutions such as one where large amounts of steel might be welded to the truss to strengthen it.

Here in Pennsylvania, this retrofit was done simply for economic reasons, not in the name of preservation.

Information and Findings From Pennsylvania's Historic Bridge Inventory

Discussion of Bridge

The one-span, 132'-long, steel thru arch bridge was built in 1988 and fitted into the previous ca. 1910 pin-connected Pratt thru truss bridge. The Pratt trusses now merely serve as ornaments that are attached to a modern steel arch superstructure. They have lost their integrity of original design and function.

Discussion of Surrounding Area

The bridge carries 1 lane of a township road over a stream in a rural area of active farms and woods.

Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: No

This bridge is tagged with the following special condition(s): Trusses Converted To Decorative


Photo Galleries and Videos: Bower Bridge

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