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Schuylkill Avenue Bridge

Schuylkill Avenue Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: October 20, 2013

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Key Facts

Location
Reading: Berks County, Pennsylvania: United States
Structure Type
Concrete Closed Spandrel Deck Arch, Fixed and Approach Spans: Concrete T-Beam, Fixed
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1924 By Builder/Contractor: Seeds and Derham of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Engineer/Design: Charles F. Sanders

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
1981
Main Span Length
106 Feet (32.3 Meters)
Structure Length
670 Feet (204.2 Meters)
Roadway Width
48 Feet (14.63 Meters)
Spans
5 Main Span(s) and 2 Approach Span(s)
NBI Number
4742

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)
View Information About HSR Ratings

Bridge Documentation

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

View A ZIP Archive of Materials Relating To The Rehabilitation of this Bridge

View A Scan of an Enormously Long Original Drawing of this Bridge

This bridge is an attractive arch bridge that also includes two concrete t-beam approach spans. The t-beam approach spans feature decoratively arched fascia beams that hide the straight nature of the interior beams. The bridge features an attractive and somewhat unusual concrete balustrade railing design.

Emos L. Seeds and John Derham Jr. of the firm Seeds and Derham of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania was the contractor for the bridge. The company was located in the Germantown area of Philadelphia.

This bridge is slated for rehabilitation.

Information and Findings From Pennsylvania's Historic Bridge Inventory

Discussion of Bridge

The 7 span, 670' long, ribbed open spandrel arch bridge was built in 1924 by the county, and its handsome detailing, which includes the stylized consoles supporting the cantilevered deck sections and the Neo-Classical balustrades, reflect the tenets of the City Beautiful movement. It is one of 4 large open spandrel arch bridges built in the city, and this one is significant as one of the most handsome. Its aesthetics reflects the qualities for which the best examples of the technology are noted.

Discussion of Surrounding Area

The bridge carries a 2 lane city street over the Schuylkill River, River Road, and a line of the Reading RR on the northwest side of Reading. It is beyond the electric substation and turn-of-the-century rowhouse neighborhoods, and there are early to mid-19th century houses along the river. The northeast side of the bridge is dominated by a modern factory. There is a highly altered building with an 18th century nucleus beyond the northwest quadrant. The bridge was taken into the state system in 1946.

Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: Yes

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Photo Galleries and Videos: Schuylkill Avenue Bridge

 
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Bridge Photo-Documentation
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Bridge Photo-Documentation
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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

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Maps and Links: Schuylkill Avenue Bridge

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