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Landenberg Road Bridge

Landenberg Road Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Elaine Deutsch

Bridge Documented: April 18, 2008 and November 8, 2011

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Landenberg Road Over East Branch White Clay Creek
Landenberg: Chester County, Pennsylvania: United States
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1899 By Builder/Contractor: Schuylkill Bridge Company of Phoenixville, Pennsylvania

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Main Span Length
79 Feet (24.1 Meters)
Structure Length
82 Feet (25 Meters)
Roadway Width
18.4 Feet (5.61 Meters)
1 Main Span(s)
NBI Number

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)
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Bridge Documentation

This bridge has been altered, resulting in a severe loss of historic integrity and significance!

Bridge Status: This historic bridge was replaced, but the historic trusses were placed on the replacement as decorations!

This bridge is a six panel pin-connected pony truss bridge. It is historically significant as a bridge built by a local bridge company of which relatively few examples appear to remain. The bridge is traditionally composed except for a single very unusual detail which is the configuration of the top chord. The top chord is typically configured with back-to-back channels with cover plate. However on the bottom of the built-up beam, instead of a continuous series of v-lacing, lattice, or a pattern of battens, the bridge has only two sections of lattice in the center of each panel, spaced apart from each other. 

This 1899 bridge was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1988 under the incorrect assumption that the bridge was built in 1871. If the bridge had been dated at 1899 when the first historic bridge inventory was completed, it is possible PennDOT/PHMC would never have tried nominating the bridge and would have listed it ineligible. Either way, the bridge remains listed today, and even with an 1899 construction date, HistoricBridges.org agrees with the listing of the bridge.

This bridge, like so many historic truss bridges in Pennsylvania was demolished and replaced with a new bridge despite any number of viable preservation solutions. However, there is some good news. As mitigation for demolition, the truss webs were placed upon the modern bridge as decorations, thus retaining a substantial portion of original historic bridge material. This form of demolition mitigation obviously is no substitute for an actual historic bridge preservation solution, however as a form of demolition mitigation, it is far better than PennDOT's usual strategy of destroying all original bridge material, posting an interpretive sign, and using stone formliners on the replacement bridge. Instead, this form of mitigation actually retains a portion of the original historic bridge.

Information and Findings From Pennsylvania's Historic Bridge Inventory

Discussion of Bridge

The 82'-long pin-connected Pratt pony truss was listed in the National Register in 1988. The bridge has significant alterations that were not noted by the previous survey. The pin connections have been welded together, and clamps added. Additional weld-connected diagonal members have been added to the center panels. The previous survey also misdated the bridge to 1871. Chester County records indicate the truss bridge was placed in 1899 by the Schuylkill Bridge Company.

Discussion of Surrounding Area

The bridge carries a 2 lane road and over a stream in Landenberg, a 19th century mill village with modern intrusions and alterations. Landenberg does not have historic district potential.

Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: Yes

This bridge is tagged with the following special condition(s): Trusses Converted To Decorative


Photo Galleries and Videos: Landenberg Road Bridge

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