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Sulphur Springs Road Bridge

Sulphur Springs Road Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Elaine Deutsch

Bridge Documented: June 10, 2011

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Sulphur Springs Road Over Little Juniata Creek
Rural: Perry County, Pennsylvania: United States
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1904 By Builder/Contractor: Nelson and Buchanan of Chambersburg, Pennsylvania

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Main Span Length
55 Feet (16.8 Meters)
Structure Length
55 Feet (16.8 Meters)
Roadway Width
11.2 Feet (3.41 Meters)
1 Main Span(s)
NBI Number

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)
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Bridge Documentation

This bridge no longer exists!

Bridge Status: Demolished and replaced.

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

This truss bridge is an early example of a rivet-connected truss bridge built by Nelson and Buchanan. Perhaps because it is a little older than most of the surviving rivet-connected Nelson and Buchanan bridges, this truss has a little different design that features very lightweight truss members as opposed to the heavier ones the company used on later bridges.

A pier was added to this bridge and steel stringers were added to carry the road, these alterations occurring ca. 1960. As such, this single span truss bridge is today essentially a two-span stringer bridge that has trusses mounted on the side for decoration and to hold the guardrail. Despite these alterations, the bridge is a look at an unusual example of the work that prolific Nelson and Buchanan did.

The Historic Bridge Inventory says that "The fabricator is undocumented." This proves that either nobody ever even visited this bridge in conjunction with the inventory, or they visited with their eyes closed. Mounted in plain sight right on the bridge trusses is a plaque declaring Nelson and Buchanan as engineers and contractors for the bridge.

Information and Findings From Pennsylvania's Historic Bridge Inventory

Discussion of Bridge

The rivet-connected Pratt pony truss bridge has significant loss of integrity due to alterations converting the bridge from a 1-span truss bridge to a 2-span continuous steel stringer bridge. Alterations include loss of floorbeams and original flooring system and replacement by steel stringers and a steel deck pan. A concrete pier was added at midspan. The truss lines now serve as railings. The lower chords have been partially lost due to severe rust. According to inspection reports, the bridge was originally built in 1904. The fabricator is undocumented. More distinguished and less altered examples of Pratt pony truss bridges have been identified in the county and region. The altered bridge is not significant for its setting or context.

Discussion of Surrounding Area

The bridge carries one lane of traffic over a stream in a sparsely developed, rural area with scattered 20th-century residences. A trailer home is at one quadrant of the bridge. The setting does not appear to have historic district potential.

Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: No


Photo Galleries and Videos: Sulphur Springs Road Bridge

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Maps and Links: Sulphur Springs Road Bridge

This historic bridge has been demolished. This map is shown for reference purposes only.

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