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The current total length of this bridge is unknown, HAER gave a 3507 foot length for the bridge when completed, but noted that "several" arch spans had been added at the east end of the bridge, so the bridge today is a little longer.
This bridge features a staggering 51 semicircle concrete deck arch spans, three more than the famous Rockville Bridge north of Harrisburg, a stone arch bridge that was the longest stone bridge in the world when completed.
This bridge is important, just as its near-twin the Cumberland Valley Railroad Bridge is. The two bridges are together important since they offer an easy way to see how two railroads that competed with each other approached the problems associated with bridge construction.
This bridge, much like its nearby neighbor, replaced a metal truss bridge that sat on stone piers. The existing bridge's concrete piers encase these original stone abutments.
The design of the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad Bridge differs from the Cumberland Valley Railroad Bridge partially because the railroad wanted to avoid issues with floods washing out falsework which occurred with the Cumberland Valley Railroad Bridge. The design seen with the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad Bridge was one that used drastically less falsework.
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