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Sugarcreek Bridge

Buttermilk Hill Road Bridge

Sugarcreek Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: July 1, 2006

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Buttermilk Hill Road (PA-4010) Over Sugar Creek
Sugarcreek: Venango County, Pennsylvania: United States
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1920 By Builder/Contractor: Groton Bridge Company of Groton, New York and Engineer/Design: Karl A. Miller

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Main Span Length
123 Feet (37.5 Meters)
Structure Length
126 Feet (38.4 Meters)
Roadway Width
15.7 Feet (4.79 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

This bridge is right next to the Sugarcreek Railroad Bridge.

This attractive and unaltered through truss bridge sits next to a railroad truss bridge, making this a unique setting. To find two small single span truss bridges side by side is very rare. You can find multiple truss bridges next to each other on larger, urban areas like Pittsburgh, but not usually out in the county on smaller rivers and creeks like this. Long ago, this may have been common, but today, in most cases, the highway half of the bridge pair has been demolished. What is ironic here, is that PennDOT decided to rehabilitate this bridge, a decision which PennDOT almost never makes. Yet in this case, the railroad bridge is being planned for replacement by the railroad! Usually, the railroad bridges are spared demolition. Thus the apparant planned outcome here is the reverse of what one would expect. Sugarcreek was a unique setting of a two single-span Pratt through truss bridges side by side, one for the railroad and the other for the highway. It is a truly beautiful scene. It also represents a scene that would have been much more common in the past. As such, the preservation of both structures should have been paramount here at Sugarcreek.

The highway bridge is a Pratt through truss with riveted connections. It was built in 1920 by the Groton Bridge Company. V-lacing is present on the verticals, on the sway bracing, and under the top chord and end post. Original angle railings remain in place behind modern Armco railings. The floor beams and deck stringers are original. The deck is concrete with an asphalt wearing surface. The portal bracing is an a-frame design.

Information and Findings From Pennsylvania's Historic Bridge Inventory

Discussion of Bridge

The 1920, riveted, single span, 126'-long, Pratt thru truss bridge is supported on ashlar abutments with flared wingwalls. The trusses are composed from built up members. The bridge, a late and undistinguished example of a common technology, has no innovative or distinctive details. Riveted truss bridges have been used on Pennsylvania highways since ca. 1890. Earlier examples or those with innovative details better represent the technology. The bridge is neither historically nor technologically significant.

Discussion of Surrounding Area

The bridge carries a 2 lane road over a stream in a predominantly rural area. Just to the south is a pin connected, Pratt thru truss Conrail railroad bridge spanning the same stream. To the west is a small, undistinguished, early 20th century residential development. To the east is wooded and sparsely developed. The area does not have historic district potential.

Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: No


Photo Galleries and Videos: Sugarcreek Bridge

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