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Craighead Bridge

Craighead Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: October 21, 2013

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Zion Road (TR-520) Over Yellow Breeches Creek
Rural: Cumberland County, Pennsylvania: United States

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Not Available or Not Applicable
Main Span Length
132 Feet (40.2 Meters)
Structure Length
134 Feet (40.8 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

Bridge Status: This bridge was replaced on new alignment, but left standing next to its replacement with ownership by Workin' Bridges.

2021 Update: As of 2021 this historic bridge is reportedly safe from demolition, and is now owned by the adjacent property owner. 

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

This bridge was built by the Pittsburgh Bridge Company. This in-state bridge builder was quite prolific in Pennsylvania, although not so much outside of the state. Once, many examples of bridges built by this company remained in Pennsylvania... attractive and historic parts of Pennsylvania's iron, steel, and engineering heritage. However, many of these bridges have been demolished and preservation is almost nonexistent. This is only the latest Pittsburgh Bridge Company bridge to fall under the wrecking ball.

The bridge is a late, but traditional example of a bridge built by the Pittsburgh Bridge Company. It has the company's traditional lattice portal bracing, and the unusual floorbeams that frame around the connections, an unusual detail that the company stuck with for at least a decade. Built in 1899, the bridge was built a year before the company was absorbed into the American Bridge Company alongside many other 19th Century bridge companies.

This bridge sits on stone abutments. The southern stone abutments are fairly extensive and have unusual little culverts that run through them.

Information and Findings From Pennsylvania's Historic Bridge Inventory

Discussion of Bridge

The one-span, 134'-long, pin-connected Pratt thru truss bridge has members composed of standard built-up sections and eyebars. The bridge retains its original lattice railings and is supported on stone abutments. Open steel grid deck and steel stringers were placed ca. 1960. The bridge was fabricated in 1899 by the Pittsburgh Bridge Co. and erected by their agents, Nelson & Buchanan of Chambersburg. It is historically and technologically significant as a complete example of the popular Pratt truss design that dominated metal truss highway bridge construction in the late 19th century. The bridge has significance as one of five extant truss highway bridges from 1889 to 1899 in Cumberland County, and one of three Pratt truss bridges. The bridge documents the work of a regionally important metal truss bridge fabricator and builder.

Discussion of Surrounding Area

The bridge carries a 1 lane road over a stream in rural setting of active farms and scattered 19th- to late-20th-century residences. At the north end of the bridge is a T-shaped intersection with SR 174. At the bridge's southeast quadrant is a late-20th-century residence.

Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: Yes


Photo Galleries and Videos: Craighead Bridge

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Maps and Links: Craighead Bridge

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