This bridge is a very long bridge, the result of a large number of approach spans that lead up to two main deck truss spans. The bridge is unaltered, but its relatively young age limits its historic value. However, the bridge is a very attractive structure, largely due to the attractive detailing on the concrete railings, combined with geometric art of the main truss spans which are quite handsomely decorated for a 1950s bridge.
This bridge is nearly impossible to photograph in the summer without a boat. HistoricBridges.org only has a limited selection of photos for this bridge as a result.
Information and Findings From Pennsylvania's Historic Bridge Inventory
Discussion of Bridge
The 14 span viaduct is 1,167' long, with 2 riveted Pratt deck truss spans of 149' each and 12 spans of rolled section stringers. It is finished with architectonic concrete balustrades and accenting of the concrete substructure in the Art Moderne style. Built in 1953, the bridge is not an early example of the riveted Pratt truss, which has been used since the late 19th century. The viaduct is large and complete, but it is not historically or technologically significant, and it is not located in or associated with any historic districts.
Discussion of Surrounding Area
The viaduct carries a 2 lane with a sidewalk and a safety walk over the Lehigh River, railroads, and a canal. On the east bank of the river is the abandoned Lehigh Canal and active tracks of Conrail, lines established by the Central RR of NJ in the late 1860s. The canal right-of-way of the canal is a National Register-listed historic district with a period of significance from 1840 to 1931, the active years of the canal. On the west bank of the river, the bridge spans over a 2 lane city street, and an active track of Conrail, the former lines of the Lehigh Valley RR, established in the early 1850s. At the north end of the bridge is an early- to mid-20th century residential neighborhood of highly altered houses in West Catasauqua. The neighborhood does not appear to have historic district potential.
Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: No
Original / Full Size Photos
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Coordinates (Latitude, Longitude):
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