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Heshbon Bridge

Heshbon Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth and Rick McOmber

Bridge Documented: August 1, 2007

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Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
PA-259 Over Black Lick Creek
Heshbon (Rural): Indiana County, Pennsylvania: United States
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1941 By Builder/Contractor: Paul Construction Company and Engineer/Design: Pennsylvania State Highway Department
Rehabilitation Date
Not Available or Not Applicable
Main Span Length
153.0 Feet (46.6 Meters)
Structure Length
158.0 Feet (48.2 Meters)
Roadway Width
26 Feet (7.92 Meters)
1 Main Span(s)
Inventory 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 a relatively small example of Pennsylvania's very attractive standard plan 1930s/40s truss bridge design. As such, it features a shallower portal bracing design that other bridges built to this standard. These 1930s/40s bridges in Pennsylvania are becoming increasingly rare as PennDOT goes around demolishing them, partly aided by the fact that none of these bridges were assessed as historic by the historic bridge inventory. The loss of these bridges, which are wide and sturdy enough to support modern traffic if maintained, is a serious blow to what makes the Pennsylvania landscape so beautiful and enjoyable to travel through.

Fortunately, PennDOT had a change of heart with this bridge and chose to rehabilitate it in 2009. PennDOT deserves to be thanked for choosing to rehabilitate this bridge instead of replacing it, representing a good preservation project and also a wise use of tax dollars.

Information and Findings From Pennsylvania's Historic Bridge Inventory

Discussion of Bridge

The 1941, skewed, 158'-long, riveted Parker thru truss bridge is supported on ashlar abutments with concrete caps. The trusses are traditionally composed with the upper and lower chords being built up box sections, and the verticals and diagonals rolled I sections. Lateral and sway bracing are laced channels. The deck is reinforced concrete, and the steel railings inside the truss lines are original. The bridge has no innovative or distinctive details. Use of rolled section for truss members was common after 1930. The Parker truss was commonly used by PennDOT for span lengths greater than 125' in the 1930s. Neither the 1941 bridge nor its setting are historically or technologically significant.

Discussion of Surrounding Area

The bridge carries a 2 lane road over a stream in a sparsely developed, wooded setting. There are highly altered ca. 1910 vernacular houses along the stream to the east of and below the bridge. There are also a couple of houses on the east side of the at grade railroad crossing north and west of the bridge. The approximately 6 buildings in the area do not have the significance or integrity to be a historic district.

Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: No


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Maps and Links: Heshbon Bridge

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Bridgehunter.com: View listed bridges within 0.5 miles (0.8 kilometers) of this bridge.

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2021 National Bridge Inventory: View listed bridges within 0.5 miles (0.8 kilometers) of this bridge.

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