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Stillwater Bridge

Stillwater Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: August 26, 2019

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
PA-487 Over Fishing Creek
Rural: Columbia County, Pennsylvania: United States
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1930 By Builder/Contractor: Anthracite Bridge Company and Engineer/Design: Pennsylvania State Highway Department

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Main Span Length
108 Feet (32.9 Meters)
Structure Length
222 Feet (67.7 Meters)
Roadway Width
29 Feet (8.84 Meters)
2 Main Span(s)
NBI Number

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)
View Information About HSR Ratings

Bridge Documentation

This state standard pony truss is noted for its multi-span configuration and skew. This bridge is located within sight of a historic covered bridge. Why does HistoricBridges.org not feature covered bridges? To try to show that other historic bridge types like this one have value as well! When this narrative was typed on October 6, 2020, the website Bridgehunter.com had a listing for this pony truss bridge, as well as a page for the covered bridge. The covered bridge had 38 photos posted with the first photo being added in 2006. In contrast, the truss bridge's page did not have a single photo posted! Granted this pony truss is not as old as the covered bridge, but it is still old enough and with enough heritage to have a beauty not found in modern bridges, and you would think that if you were visiting the covered bridge you would at least have a passing interest in taking a photo or two of this truss bridge. Perhaps one problem is that Columbia County has a "Columbia County Covered Bridges Association" which is great, but why not instead have an association called the "Columbia County Historic Bridges Association" that promotes ALL of the county's historic bridges. While this pony truss may not be the most historic bridge in the county, it is becoming increasingly rare as bridges of this type are being demolished and replaced at a high rate in Pennsylvania. Columbia County stands (as of 2020) for still having several surviving examples of this type of bridge. The time has come to reconsider the historic significance of surviving examples, especially ones like this which stand out for the multi-span arrangement and skewed design.

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

Information and Findings From Pennsylvania's Historic Bridge Inventory

Discussion of Bridge

The skewed, 2 span, 222'-long Parker pony truss bridge is supported on a concrete substructure. The chords are built up box sections, but the verticals and diagonals are rolled H and I sections. The safety shape barriers inside the truss lines were placed in 1976. The transition from built up to the use of rolled section for truss members in Pennsylvania dates to the late 1920s. There is one example documented to 1919. This 1930 example is not early, and it is not historically and technologically significant. The bridge is not located in a potential historic district.

Discussion of Surrounding Area

The bridge carries a 2 lane state highway over a stream north of the borough of Stillwater on a section of road that bypassed the village. There are no buildings at the bridge quadrants, which are wooded. The bridge is not part of the village. It is not located in a potential historic district.

Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: No


Photo Galleries and Videos: Stillwater Bridge

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Maps and Links: Stillwater Bridge

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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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