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Pickering Road Bridge

Pickering Road Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Elaine Deutsch

Bridge Documented: 2008

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Pickering Road Over Pickering Creek
Rural: Chester County, Pennsylvania: United States
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1894 By Builder/Contractor: John Denithorne and Sons of Phoenixville, Pennsylvania

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Main Span Length
80 Feet (24 Meters)
Structure Length
83 Feet (25 Meters)
Roadway Width
13.5 Feet (4.11 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 historic truss bridge was technically replaced with a steel stringer bridge. The truss webs were attached to this replacement bridge as decorations. It does not appear that the stringer bridge is any wider than the original truss bridge, so the "feel" of the bridge from on the deck is about the same as it always has been. One could debate whether this should be considered a demolition project or not. HistoricBridges.org currently is not considering this a demolition because the roadway width was retained, and the truss webs were retained in their entirety. It would be physically feasible in the future to remove the truss webs from the bridge and attach them to new floorbeams and once again have a working truss bridge. Since floorbeams are often (unfortunately) replaced as part of rehabilitation projects, the end product of such a project would be identical to many truss bridges which have been rehabilitated.

This bridge is one of a few truss bridges in the area to be replaced while retaining the truss webs. HistoricBridges.org feels that this sort of project is an excellent way to mitigate the adverse effect caused by replacing a historic truss bridge. Some form of mitigation will be required if Section 106 takes place. A project which replaces a truss bridge while retaining the truss webs should be reserved for situations where a traditional rehabilitation is truly not feasible. It is hoped that Chester County will choose to do a careful rehabilitation with some of its other truss bridges which remain in their entirety. The replacement of this bridge resulted in a loss of what may have been the unique variety of fishbelly floorbeam that Denithorne and Sons sometimes used on their truss bridges. It would be nice to see a couple bridges retain these floorbeams.

Information and Findings From Pennsylvania's Historic Bridge Inventory

Discussion of Bridge

The single-span, pin-connected Pratt pony truss bridge was listed in the National Register in 1991 as a contributing resource to the Middle Pickering Rural Historic District.

Discussion of Surrounding Area

The bridge carries a 2 lane road over a stream in a rural setting of well-preserved 18th- and 19th-century farmsteads in the Middle Pickering Rural Historic District.

Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: Yes


Photo Galleries and Videos: Pickering Road Bridge

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Maps and Links: Pickering Road Bridge

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