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Mill Street Bridge

Mill Street Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth and Rick McOmber

Bridge Documented: April 15, 2011

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Key Facts

Dunmore: Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania: United States
Structure Type
Concrete Open Spandrel Deck Arch, Fixed and Approach Spans: Metal Through Girder, Fixed
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1917 By Builder/Contractor: Unknown

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Not Available or Not Applicable
Main Span Length
128 Feet (39 Meters)
Structure Length
400 Feet (122 Meters)
Roadway Width
20 Feet (6.1 Meters)
1 Main Span(s) and 6 Approach 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 bridge is an interesting structure with an open spandrel arch main span, a series of t-beam approach spans, and also a riveted through plate girder span over a railroad line. The variety of span types adds to the interest of the bridge.

The historic bridge inventory makes it sound like the bridge is ugly and has no architectural detailing. For a bridge fitting that description, one might instead consider looking above at the freeway bridge that crosses the river directly above the arch bridge. While not an ornate concrete arch, the t-beam spans have curved details at each end where they blend into the piers. The edge of the deck on the sides of the bridge has a beveled design. These are architectural details designed to enhance the appearance of the bridge. Such enhancements are not found on modern bridges.

The Historic Bridge Inventory condemns this bridge as unworthy of being historic because they claim it is "not distinguished by the handsome proportions and aesthetic detailing that is the hallmark of the bridge type." While it may not be ornate, however it does have aesthetic detailing and the design of these details actually suggest it may be an example of modernism in architectural design of bridges. Additionally, a more ornate bridge in this area, the Harrison Avenue Bridge, is being demolished by PennDOT, making this bridge more rare. Its National Register of Historic Places eligibility needs to be reconsidered as a result.

Information and Findings From Pennsylvania's Historic Bridge Inventory

Discussion of Bridge

The 7-span, 400'-long bridge built in 1917 is composed of a 128'-long, ribbed, open spandrel arch span over the creek, one built-up steel thru girder span over the Conrail track, and five T beam spans. It is finished with metal picket railings set between concrete posts. The open spandrel arch span is detailed with plain spandrel columns and fascia beams. The minimalist styling gives the bridge a severe appearance. Repairs have been made to the arch ring, and stiffening plates welded to the thru girder span. The bridge is not a historically or technologically significant example of open spandrel arch technology. It was built after the technology was well established, and it is not distinguished by the handsome proportions and aesthetic detailing that is the hallmark of the bridge type. It is not significant for its setting and is not historically significant in association with the development of the rail line crossed by its thru girder approach span.

Discussion of Surrounding Area

The bridge carries a 2 lane street and 1 sidewalk over a stream and one track of Conrail, the former Delaware, Lackawanna & Western RR, on the southeast side of Dunmore. I-81 goes overhead and dwarfs the structure. The area of undistinguished 20th century commercial and residential buildings does not have historic district potential.

Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: No


Photo Galleries and Videos: Mill Street Bridge

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