This bridge is one of the only examples of a rainbow arch bridge in Pennsylvania, a bridge type technically described as a reinforced concrete through arch bridge. Rainbow arch bridges are significant on a national basis as they are an uncommon structure type across the nation as well. Pennsylvania specifically, was not known for building these bridges often, and as such, this bridge is even more rare and significance on a local basis.
The Hickory Creek Bridge is a traditional example of the structure type. The bridge was designed by Harrington Howard & Ash, a company that remains today in the form of HNTB. The Hickory Creek Bridge retains excellent historic integrity, but appears in poor structural condition based on field inspection and National Bridge Inventory ratings. It is extremely disappointing to see a bridge with this level of historic significance neglected. The bridge may already have decayed to the point that restoration would be extremely difficult. However, due to the rarity of the bridge, it is still very worth attempting to restore the bridge, perhaps for pedestrian use only. This bridge is an example of how Pennsylvania's ignorance of historic bridge preservation compared to other states is causing irreversible loss to one of the richest collections of historic bridges in the country.
Information and Findings From Pennsylvania's Historic Bridge Inventory
Discussion of Bridge
The single-span, 112'-long, reinforced concrete thru arch bridge was designed by Harrington Howard & Ash, successors to HNTB. It is a complete example of a design the consulting engineers also used in Delaware in 1942. The bridge is not a Marsh arch. Rather, it uses the same principles of a reinforced concrete open spandrel arch, and it represents an economical and pleasing use of both steel and reinforced concrete. It is historically and technologically significant because of the rareness of its design, its date of construction, association with prominent consulting engineers, and its completeness.
Discussion of Surrounding Area
The bridge carries a two-lane road over a stream in a sparsely developed, rural setting with scattered post World War II houses. The road appears to be the former alignment of SR 18. The new alignment is to the west.
Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: Yes
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This historic bridge has been demolished. This map is shown for reference purposes only.
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