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Ackelson Bridge

Ackelson Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: July 4, 2006 and May 3, 2013

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Maple Grove Road (TR-506) Over Raccoon Creek
Rural: Washington County, Pennsylvania: United States
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1904 By Builder/Contractor: Nelson and Buchanan of Chambersburg, Pennsylvania

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Not Available or Not Applicable
Main Span Length
43 Feet (13.1 Meters)
Structure Length
50 Feet (15.2 Meters)
Roadway Width
11.8 Feet (3.6 Meters)
1 Main Span(s)
NBI Number

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)
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Bridge Documentation

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

This small bridge presents a good example of why truss bridges are so special and important to preserve. Here is a small road and a small crossing, that if a modern bridge were built would most likely never even be noticed. In fact a modern bridge might not even be a bridge; it might just be a culvert. But even a small truss bridge such as this one has enough of a truss to it that it provides a "climax" as you cross the stream, and lets people know that there is something special here. The stone abutments that may be common in Pennsylvania compared to other states, are still very scenic, and the way they rise above the land adds to the scenery.

Information and Findings From Pennsylvania's Historic Bridge Inventory

Discussion of Bridge

The single-span, 50'-long and 14' wide, riveted Pratt pony truss bridge built in 1904 is supported on concrete abutments. The trusses are traditionally composed, and the floor beams are located above the lower chords. The field connections are bolted, and the outriggers are original. The bridge has been strengthened by the addition of longitudinal beams placed under the floor beams and supported on concrete seats in front of the ashlar abutments. Angles are welded to the beams and the bottom of the lower chords. There are also numerous welded and bolted repairs to the truss members. The altered bridge is located in a county and region noted for its numerous complete truss bridges, and it is not historically or technologically significant. It is similar to other bridges in the county from the same period that were fabricated by Nelson & Buchanan.

Discussion of Surrounding Area

The bridge carries a single-lane road over a stream in a sparsely developed, wooded setting with scattered 20th century houses. A plain log house is beyond the bridge to the south. The area does not appear to have historic district potential.

Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: No


Photo Galleries and Videos: Ackelson Bridge

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Maps and Links: Ackelson Bridge

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