This rural road is totally undeveloped to the west of this bridge, so much so that the road has fords instead of bridges to the west. Despite this, the road is a state-owned highway, which is perhaps the most distinct evidence that Pennsylvania has a much different road ownership system than most other states. Usually state-owned highways are only major roadways, but Pennsylvania does not operate like this. This creates a problem in Pennsylvania, because PennDOT has one of the worst track records for historic bridge preservation in the country, and unfortunately thanks to the Commonwealth's large number of state-owned roads which include rural roads, this means PennDOT owns a lot of historic bridges because rural roads tend to be where the most old bridges are.
This bridge is a highly attractive The bridge is similar to the Shorb Mill Road Bridge in Adams County, which was built by Nelson and Buchanan, so Chartiers Bridge might be built by them as well. However note that the Shorb Mill Road Bridge uses a different truss configuration, so this association is not for certain.
This is a post-1900 riveted truss bridge. The Pennsylvania Historic Bridge Inventory dismissed the vast majority of post-1900 riveted truss bridges as not historic and not eligible for the National Register of Historic Places, regardless of integrity, size, or construction date. The Pennsylvania historic bridge inventory operates on the philosophy that historic significant arises only from innovative, prototypical engineering, and that significance does not arise from good representative examples of structures from a period in history. This appears to go against the philosophy of the National Register of Historic Places which has accepted structures from both categories in other states. The information below from the Historic Bridge Inventory is provided for structure information and reference only. HistoricBridges.org does not agree with the findings of the below historic bridge inventory assessment.
Information and Findings From Pennsylvania's Historic Bridge Inventory
Discussion of Bridge
The 1913, skewed, riveted Parker pony truss bridge is supported on ashlar abutments with wingwalls. All truss members are composed of built up members, and the details reflect the standardization of design that characterizes rivet-connected metal truss bridges. The original lattice railings are inside the truss lines, and the deck is concrete. The bridge has no innovative or distinctive details, and the use of the Parker design for a 68' long span is not noteworthy. In a county with over 30 metal truss bridges dating from 1891 through 1943, and a region with hundreds of examples, the bridge is not historically or technologically significant.
Discussion of Surrounding Area
The bridge carries a 1 lane road over a stream in a sparsely developed, forested setting with scattered mid and late 20th century residences north of Chartiers.
Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: No
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