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Dornsife Bridge

Dornsife Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: August 26, 2019

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
PA-225 Over Mahanoy Creek
Dornsife: Northumberland County, Pennsylvania: United States
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1941 By Builder/Contractor: Fort Pitt Bridge Works of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Engineer/Design: Pennsylvania State Highway Department

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Main Span Length
208 Feet (63.4 Meters)
Structure Length
215 Feet (65.5 Meters)
Roadway Width
25.3 Feet (7.71 Meters)
1 Main Span(s)
NBI Number

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)
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Bridge Documentation

This a an extremely unusual variation of a standard state design through truss bridge in Pennsylvania that uses a Warren truss rather than a Pratt or Parker truss. The Historic Bridge Inventory failed to note this unique detail, and dismissed the bridge as non-historic. The bridge has been hit by overheight truck so some sway bracing members and truss members have bolted alterations. But the bridge continues to convey this unique truss variation on a bridge that otherwise displays typical state design details. 

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

Above: Sheet from original shop drawings showing fabricator of bridge.

Information and Findings From Pennsylvania's Historic Bridge Inventory

Discussion of Bridge

The skewed, one-span, 215'-long, rivet-connected steel Warren thru truss bridge built in 1941 is composed of built-up chords and portal x-bracing, and rolled verticals, diagonals, and upper later bracing. It is supported on concrete abutments with wingwalls. The concrete deck was placed in 1994 with removal of the original decorative metal railings and replacement with concrete parapets to the inside of the truss lines. Original bearings were replaced with pot bearings, the abutment backwalls rebuilt, and deteriorated rivets replaced with high-strength bolts. The bridge is a large but altered and late example of the Warren truss bridge type, developed in the mid-19th century. Rivet-connected Warren trusses were a popular highway bridge type in the early 20th century. Over 100 pre-1957 examples have been identified with many rivet-connected examples dating from the 1890s to 1910s. The bridge is not historically or technologically distinguished by its setting or context.

Discussion of Surrounding Area

The bridge carries a 2 lane highway over a stream in a sparsely developed, rural area with scattered 19th- to late- 20th-century residences. An altered late-19th-century vernacular frame residence with large modern addition is at one corner of the bridge. At one of the opposite corners is a mobile home. The setting does not appear to have historic district potential.

Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: Yes


Photo Galleries and Videos: Dornsife Bridge

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