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Lehigh Gap Bridge

Lehigh Gap Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: November 2, 2019

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Key Facts

Palmerton: Lehigh County, Pennsylvania and Northampton County, Pennsylvania: United States
Structure Type
Metal 9 Panel Rivet-Connected Pratt Pony Truss, Fixed and Approach Spans: Metal Through Girder, Fixed
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1930 By Builder/Contractor: Unknown and Engineer/Design: Pennsylvania State Highway Department

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Main Span Length
164 Feet (50 Meters)
Structure Length
1,024 Feet (312.1 Meters)
Roadway Width
24 Feet (7.32 Meters)
5 Main Span(s) and 2 Approach Span(s)
NBI Number

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)
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Bridge Documentation

This is a large deck truss bridge located in a scenic mountain setting. In light of how many truss bridges have been demolished in Pennsylvania, the inventory finding of "not historic" should be overturned.

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

Information and Findings From Pennsylvania's Historic Bridge Inventory

Discussion of Bridge

The 7 span, 1024'-long viaduct built in 1930 is composed of 5 Pratt deck truss spans with a single thru girder span on each end. It has a concrete substructure. In 1984, the floorbeams and stringers were replaced in the truss spans. The trusses were strengthened with bolted coverplate. The bridge was designed by the state highway department, and rolled section is used for the verticals and diagonals. It is notable for its overall size, but it is not historically or technologically significant. Deck trusses are used when there is sufficient vertical clearance.

Discussion of Surrounding Area

The bridge carries a 2 lane road and a sidewalk over the Lehigh River, the abandoned Lehigh Canal, and a single active railroad track on the north side of the river in a sparsely developed setting with scattered residential and commercial structures. The Lehigh Canal Historic District (listed 10/2/78) is the right-of-way of the old Lehigh Canal along the river's north bank. The district has a period of significance from 1840 to 1931, the active years of the canal. The active railroad track on the north bank of the river is operated by Conrail, and is the former Central RR of New Jersey's line from Easton to Wilkes Barre, established in the late 1860s. On the west bank of the river is the abandoned right-of-way of the Lehigh Valley RR, established in the early 1850s.

Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: No


Photo Galleries and Videos: Lehigh Gap Bridge

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