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Waterloo Road Bridge

Waterloo Road Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Elaine Deutsch

Bridge Documented: January 7, 2012

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Waterloo Road (PA-2021) Over Darby Creek
Rural: Chester County, Pennsylvania: United States
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1908 By Builder/Contractor: Unknown and Engineer/Design: Nathan R. Rambo

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Not Available or Not Applicable
Main Span Length
50 Feet (15 Meters)
Structure Length
52 Feet (16 Meters)
Roadway Width
19.7 Feet (6 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 bridge is an early example of a concrete arch bridge, and in Chester County it is also noteworthy as  the only concrete arch bridge that dates to before 1920. The bridge is further significant because it is unaltered and in good condition. The original solid, paneled railings remain on the bridge. The bridge is also significant for its noteworthy skew of 45 degrees, adding to the complexity of its design and construction.

In 1908, reinforced concrete was still an emerging material for common use in bridge construction and was referred to as "concrete-steel" in the numerous texts and articles written about it during this period. Many patents were held at this time for reinforcing and/or concrete bridge design.

Information and Findings From Pennsylvania's Historic Bridge Inventory

Discussion of Bridge

The skewed, 52'-long reinforced concrete deck arch bridge built in 1908 has paneled parapets and concrete abutments with U-shaped wingwalls. It is listed as a contributing resource to the Waterloo Mills Historic District. The bridge is the only identified pre-1920 example of a reinforced concrete deck arch in Chester County. It is among approximately 20 pre-1910 examples in the region (PADOT 6-0) with the oldest example dating to about 1904. The bridge documents an early application of the reinforced concrete arch technology in the regional and county contexts.

Discussion of Surrounding Area

The bridge carries a 2 lane road over a stream in a rural setting. The bridge is located inside the boundaries of the NR-listed Waterloo Mills Historic District. The approx. 159-acre district is an intact, agricultural hamlet consisting mainly of late-18th to 19th-century resources including a complex of mill, blacksmith shop, residence, and barn immediately east of the bridge. The district has a period of significance from 1798 to 1909 and is significant in the areas of agriculture and architecture.

Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: Yes


Photo Galleries and Videos: Waterloo Road Bridge

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