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Iron Haupt Truss Bridges

Ronks Bridge and Ardmore Bridge

Iron Haupt Truss Bridges

Primary Photographer(s): Elaine Deutsch

Bridge Documented: Summer 2015

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
None Over None
Strasburg: Lancaster County, Pennsylvania: United States
Structure Type
Metal Haupt Pony Truss, Fixed
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
By Builder/Contractor: Unknown and Engineer/Design: Herman Haupt

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Not Available or Not Applicable
Main Span Length
Not Available
Structure Length
Not Available
Roadway Width
Not Available
1 Main Span(s)
NBI Number
Not Applicable

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)
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Bridge Documentation

This bridge is in storage!

View Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) Documentation For This Bridge

HAER Drawings, PDF - HAER Data Pages, PDF

Note: Above HAER Documentation is for a different Iron Haupt bridge. HAER Did not document the two bridges described below, so this is the best existing formal documentation of this bridge type.

Two truss bridges sit here in storage at the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania, awaiting restoration and reuse. Both were presumably built in the 1850s, and both are Haupt truss bridges with cast iron for compression members. They are two of the oldest metal bridges in the United States, and they represent the very earliest period of metal bridge construction in the United States, which was a period of prototypical, experimental design.

The first bridge to arrive here in storage was the Ronks Bridge, which was originally built in the 1850s in an unknown location for railroad use. When its 60 ton weight limit became insufficient for increasing train weights, it was moved in the 1870s or 1880s to serve as a private farm field access bridge over a railroad line. In 2002, the bridge was replaced and the trusses were moved to the museum, where they have remained. The estimated location of this bridge when it was near Ronks is 40.02826 -76.17328.

At a later date, another iron Haupt truss bridge that was located on Church Street in Ardmore, Pennsylvania over a railroad line was replaced, and this span was also given to the museum, and placed in storage. This bridge, like the Ronks Bridge, likely originally was a railroad bridge that was reused as a highway over railroad bridge on Church Street. The location of this bridge when it was on Church Street is 40.00574 -75.28503.

Visit the Railroad Museum Website for these bridges.

This bridge is tagged with the following special condition(s): Cast Iron


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