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Cumberland Valley Railroad Bridge

Cumberland Valley Railroad Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth and Rick McOmber

Bridge Documented: July 10, 2008

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Railroad (Abandoned) Over Susquehanna River
Location
Harrisburg: Cumberland County, Pennsylvania and Dauphin County, Pennsylvania: United States
Structure Type
Concrete Segmental Deck Arch, Fixed
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1916 By Builder/Contractor: Robert Grace Contracting Company

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Not Available or Not Applicable
Main Span Length
77 Feet (23.47 Meters)
Structure Length
Not Available
Roadway Width
Not Available
Spans
43 Main Span(s)
NBI Number
Not Applicable

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)

Bridge Documentation

This massive bridge contains an incredible 43 segmental arch main spans, plus two more concrete deck arch spans at the western end of the bridge. The bridge is significant as an example of an extremely long concrete arch bridge that also appears to retain good historic integrity. Although the bridge crosses City Island Park, it does not end at the island, and instead continues at high level over the island.

This bridge is important, just as its near-twin the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad Bridge is. The two bridges are together important since they offer an easy way to see how two railroads that competed with each other approached the problems associated with bridge construction.

This bridge, much like its nearby neighbor, replaced a metal truss bridge that sat on stone piers. The existing bridge's concrete piers encase these original stone abutments. Construction of the Cumberland Valley Railroad Bridge was accomplished by the use of extensive falsework during the process. Construction was briefly interrupted when a flood destroyed part of this falsework.

The bridge is currently abandoned but may be reused for a light rail system that is planned, so the functional life of this bridge has not yet ended.

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