HistoricBridges.org Menu: HistoricBridges.org Menu:

We Recommend These Resources:
Bach Steel - Experts at historic truss bridge restoration.

HistoricBridges.org: Bridge Browser

Mt. Carbon Arch Bridge

Bridge Number 89

Mt. Carbon Arch Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth and Rick McOmber

Bridge Documented: May 30, 2010

View Photos
and Videos
View Maps
and Links

Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Mt. Carbon Arch Road (PA-2015 / LR-140) Over Schuylkill River
Mt. Carbon: Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania: United States
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1925 By Builder/Contractor: Charles E. Walton of Pottsville, Pennsylvania

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Not Available or Not Applicable
Main Span Length
71 Feet (21.6 Meters)
Structure Length
164 Feet (50 Meters)
Roadway Width
24 Feet (7.32 Meters)
2 Main Span(s)
NBI Number

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)
View Information About HSR Ratings

Bridge Documentation

Viewed from on the road, this two span concrete arch bridge would appear to be a traditional concrete arch bridge, perhaps overshadowed by its far more rare and historic companion bowstring which sits abandoned on the old road alignment next to this bridge.

However a view of the spandrel walls of this bridge reveals a beautiful and unique structure that should also be considered a historic bridge. Rather than a traditional solid concrete spandrel wall, the wall is covered in decorative yellow tiles and also has a defined concrete arch ring patterned like a stone arch bridge, having a stepped design with a keystone in the center.

Aside from the loss of some of the yellow tiles and minor spalling of the concrete arch ring, the bridge appears to retain near-perfect historic integrity and good structural integrity including original concrete paneled railings with plaque.

The integrity of the bridge as well as its unique architectural design and details distinguish this arch bridge as noteworthy and the bridge should be considered historic on those grounds.

The review for this bridge in the Historic Bridge Inventory which found the bridge ineligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places (ie not historic) is troubling to say the least. First it seems to have a biased and subjective review of the bridge, declaring it not eligible for the National Register partly on the grounds of the opinion of the reviewer that this bridge's "attempt as an aesthetic bridge is not successful." Certainly, everyone is entitled to their opinion on whether aesthetic elements on a bridge are attractive or not, but the evaluation of a bridge's historic value should not be determined on the basis of one person's opinion of aesthetic elements on the bridge. The fact is that this bridge does contain unique aesthetic detailing and on that basis it has historic value. Whether the person evaluating the bridge happened to like the aesthetic details or not should be irrelevant.  Finally, the comment that "large sections of the veneer have failed and spalled" appears to be largely untrue, at least for the south side of the bridge which was most visible during photo-documentation. Indeed, there is a scattering of missing tiles, but these could easily be replicated and reinstalled as part of a comprehensive preservation project. Long story short, enough of the tiles remain to convey the original design and aesthetic intent of the bridge's builder and as such the bridge should be considered historically significant.

Information and Findings From Pennsylvania's Historic Bridge Inventory

Discussion of Bridge

The 2 span, 164'-long reinforced concrete deck arch bridge is finished with a glazed blond brick veneer, which is its most distinctive feature. The roadway and sidewalk are framed with paneled concrete balustrades. The end posts extend to stylized pilasters, and the arch rings are accented with scored voussoirs and a keystone. The attempt at an aesthetic bridge is not successful, and large sections of the veneer have failed and spalled. Neither the 1925 bridge nor its setting are historically or technologically significant.

Discussion of Surrounding Area

The bridge carries a 2 lane road with shoulders over the Schuylkill River in an area dominated by modern commercial and industrial development along both SR 61, which is to the east paralleling the river, and the Reading Blue Mountain & Northern RR, which crosses the road overhead to the west of this bridge. The area does not have historic district potential. The historically significant but abandoned King bowstring truss bridge is just upstream.

Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: No


Photo Galleries and Videos: Mt. Carbon Arch Bridge

View Photo Gallery
Bridge Photo-Documentation
Original / Full Size Photos
A collection of overview and detail photos. This gallery offers photos in the highest available resolution and file size in a touch-friendly popup viewer. Alternatively, Browse Without Using Viewer
View Photo Gallery
Bridge Photo-Documentation
Mobile Optimized Photos
A collection of overview and detail photos. This gallery features data-friendly, fast-loading photos in a touch-friendly popup viewer. Alternatively, Browse Without Using Viewer


Maps and Links: Mt. Carbon Arch Bridge

Coordinates (Latitude, Longitude):

View Bridge Location In:

Bridgehunter.com: View listed bridges within a half mile of this bridge.

Bridgehunter.com: View listed bridges within 10 miles of this bridge.

Google Maps

Google Streetview (If Available)

Bing Maps


Apple Maps (Via DuckDuckGo Search)

Apple Maps (Apple devices only)


HERE We Go Maps

ACME Mapper

Waze Map

Android: Open Location In Your Map or GPS App

Flickr Gallery (Find Nearby Photos)

Wikimedia Commons (Find Nearby Photos)

Directions Via Sygic For Android

Directions Via Sygic For iOS and Android Dolphin Browser

USGS National Map (United States Only)

Historical USGS Topo Maps (United States Only)

CalTopo Maps (United States Only)

Home Top


About - Contact

© Copyright 2003-2021, HistoricBridges.org. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer: HistoricBridges.org is a volunteer group of private citizens. HistoricBridges.org is NOT a government agency, does not represent or work with any governmental agencies, nor is it in any way associated with any government agency or any non-profit organization. While we strive for accuracy in our factual content, HistoricBridges.org offers no guarantee of accuracy. Information is provided "as is" without warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied. Information could include technical inaccuracies or errors of omission. Opinions and commentary are the opinions of the respective HistoricBridges.org member who made them and do not necessarily represent the views of anyone else, including any outside photographers whose images may appear on the page in which the commentary appears. HistoricBridges.org does not bear any responsibility for any consequences resulting from the use of this or any other HistoricBridges.org information. Owners and users of bridges have the responsibility of correctly following all applicable laws, rules, and regulations, regardless of any HistoricBridges.org information.

Admin Login