This bridge is one of only three concrete cantilever girder bridges known to HistoricBridges.org. One of the other two is also right here in Lancaster County on Farmersville Road. Both should be considered nationally significant as one of the only examples nationwide of a bizarre bridge type. This three span bridge's cantilever design expresses itself most strongly in the end spans. True to the cantilever concept, the end spans are only supported at one end, which is the piers of the bridge. The center span balances the weight out. As such, the bridge has the unusual appearance and function of having end spans that do not rest on the abutments at all! Indeed a small gap can be seen between the ends of the superstructure and the abutments, making it clear that the abutments do not physically touch the superstructure! The abutments serve only as retaining walls to hold the approaching roadway together.
This bridge remains in decent condition and is unaltered from its original design giving it excellent historic integrity. Both of Lancaster County's concrete cantilever girder bridges should receive the highest preservation priority. However, the Line Valley Road Bridge's excellent condition makes it particularly easy to preserve, if the effort to repair and protect the bridge is made now, before minor deterioration has a chance to become more advanced deterioration.
Information and Findings From Pennsylvania's Historic Bridge Inventory
Discussion of Bridge
The 3-span, 132'-long reinforced concrete cantilevered variable-depth slab bridge built in 1927 has a 62'-long main span flanked by two, 31'-long, cantilevered arm approach spans supported on concrete piers. The cantilever design is illustrated in period textbooks and was believed to have the advantage of giving the appearance of an arch where a real arch would be exceedingly costly on account of foundation conditions. Typically, there is an expansion joint at the crown of the center span. The pier and cantilever arms on each side compose a unit. Built in 1927, the bridge is 1 of 2 examples of this design in the Lancaster County (the other is BMS# 36 1010 0050 1342, built in 1917, NR-listed), but no other examples of the rare type/design have been identified in the state. The bridge is historically and technologically significant.
Discussion of Surrounding Area
The bridge carries a 2 lane road over a stream in a rural area of active farms and scattered modern residences. The setting does not appear to have the integrity or cohesiveness of a historic district.
Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: Yes
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