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Mt. Carbon Bowstring Bridge

Mt. Carbon Bowstring Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth and Rick McOmber

Bridge Documented: May 30, 2010 and November 2, 2019

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and Videos
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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Mt. Carbon Arch Road (Abandoned Alignment) Over Schuylkill River
Location
Mt. Carbon: Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania: United States
Structure Type
Metal Bowstring Through Truss, Fixed
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
By Builder/Contractor: King Bridge Company of Cleveland, Ohio

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Not Available or Not Applicable
Main Span Length
Not Available
Structure Length
Not Available
Roadway Width
Not Available
Spans
1 Main Span(s)
NBI Number
Not Applicable

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)

Bridge Documentation

HistoricBridges.org was the first bridge website on the Internet to discover and photo-document this extremely important historic bowstring truss bridge that most likely dates to the 1870s. The bridge was discovered using aerial imagery then confirmed and photographed with a follow-up field visit to the bridge.

Perhaps one of the most unusual things about this bridge is that it sits bypassed and abandoned right next to a historic 1925 concrete arch bridge. This being the case, it appears that this bridge has sat abandoned since 1925. The bridge appears to carry a pipeline (possibly water) along the truss, which may have something to do with why it has been left in place all these years. Back in 1925, it certainly wasn't left in place as a historic bridge. Having been left in place for decades without any traffic or corrosive deicing salts on it, the bridge appears to retain an extremely high degree of historic and structural integrity. The bridge has no deck although floorbeams and deck stringers remain in place. The bridge sits in an overgrown area with numerous large shrubs surrounding it.

Based on the design of the top chord the bridge would appear to be the work of the King Bridge Company of Cleveland, Ohio. However, the bridge displays details unlike other King bowstrings. One such detail is the design of the vertical members which have a unique shallowly tapered design with a curved detail at the top. The decorative knee bracing is unusual as well.

This is a bridge that deserves to be accessible to the public. The bridge should be restored for pedestrian use, either in place or in a new location. Bowstring truss bridges dating to the 1870s such as this one are among the oldest, rarest, and most historically significant of metal bridges in the United States, and the preservation of each surviving example is absolutely essential.


This bridge is tagged with the following special condition(s): Unorganized Photos

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Photo Galleries and Videos: Mt. Carbon Bowstring 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
View Photo Gallery
2019 Additional Unorganized Photos
Original / Full Size Photos
A supplemental collection of photos that are from additional visit(s) to the bridge and have not been organized or captioned. 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
2019 Additional Unorganized Photos
Mobile Optimized Photos
A supplemental collection of photos that are from additional visit(s) to the bridge and have not been organized or captioned. This gallery features data-friendly, fast-loading photos in a touch-friendly popup viewer. Alternatively, Browse Without Using Viewer

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Maps and Links: Mt. Carbon Bowstring Bridge

Coordinates (Latitude, Longitude):

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

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

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