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Shelocta Bridge

Shelocta Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth and Rick McOmber

Bridge Documented: June 1, 2010

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
PA-56 Over Crooked Creek
Shelocta: Indiana County, Pennsylvania: United States
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1929 By Builder/Contractor: American Bridge Company of New York, New York and Engineer/Design: Pennsylvania State Highway Department

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Not Available or Not Applicable
Main Span Length
111 Feet (33.8 Meters)
Structure Length
119 Feet (36.3 Meters)
Roadway Width
22.3 Feet (6.8 Meters)
1 Main Span(s)
NBI Number

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)
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Bridge Documentation

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

Thanks to a couple older and more significant historic truss bridges being demolished between 2007 and 2009, the Shelocta Bridge is today the oldest metal truss bridge in Indiana County, demonstrating the drastic loss in earlier metal truss bridges such as pin-connected truss bridges that has occurred and is ongoing in Pennsylvania due to a striking lack of historic bridge preservation.

The Shelocta Bridge's evaluation as not historic by the Historic Bridge Inventory should be re-evaluated and found historic as a result of the loss of older and more significant truss bridges in the county. The bridge does also have several features that make it noteworthy. First, it is an excellent example of an earlier state standard plan truss bridge in Pennsylvania. More importantly, it is noteworthy as an example of a state highway department standard plan pony truss bridge in Pennsylvania that uses the polygonal Warren truss configuration rather than the Parker configuration that was used in nearly all such bridges. The bridge retains excellent historic integrity including a fabricator plaque.

The bridge also demonstrates a good low-cost maintenance practice that is sadly very rarely seen, which is where the bottom chord and bottom chord connections and other metal elements near the deck line were repainted (those areas always showing more rapid paint failure and rust) with the rest of the bridge retaining the older paint. This is a good maintenance practice because it costs less money and focuses on the areas that require more frequent paint application, preventing section loss and pack rust and also delaying the time until a complete repainting is needed. It would be nice to see PennDOT employ this technique on more truss bridges elsewhere as well.

Information and Findings From Pennsylvania's Historic Bridge Inventory

Discussion of Bridge

The one span, 119'-long, riveted, Warren pony truss bridge with a polygonal top chord is supported on concrete abutments. It was built in in 1929, and it has no innovative or distinctive details. The trusses are traditionally composed with built up members. Neither the bridge nor its setting are historically or technologically significant.

Discussion of Surrounding Area

The bridge carries a 2 lane road over a stream on the north edge of the borough of Shelocta which is dominated by highly altered early-20th century and later houses and businesses. The village does not have historic district potential.

Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: No


Photo Galleries and Videos: Shelocta Bridge

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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
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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 Video
Northeast Bound Crossing
Full Motion Video
Streaming video of the bridge. Also includes a higher quality downloadable video for greater clarity or offline viewing.
View Video
Southwest Bound Crossing
Full Motion Video
Streaming video of the bridge. Also includes a higher quality downloadable video for greater clarity or offline viewing.


Maps and Links: Shelocta Bridge

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