One of the things that makes small towns in Pennsylvania unique is the historic through truss bridges that often are present on the main road into town over the river. These bridges act as very impressive gateways into the communities which they connect and are a climactic way to inform travelers that they were entering or leaving a community. The West Newton Bridge is a perfect example of this. It should be in the interest of West Newton to ensure that this bridge is preserved because the bridge is a major asset to the aesthetic qualities of the town.
Information and Findings From Pennsylvania's Historic Bridge Inventory
Discussion of Bridge
The 3 span, 490' long and 22.9' wide, pin-connected, Parker thru truss is supported on ashlar abutments with wingwalls. The 160' long trusses are traditionally composed, and the floor beams are built up. The bridge appears to be complete. The stringers were replaced in 1958. The bridge is historically and technologically significant as a complete example of its design, which is not common in the state. Details that are not original to the bridge are the beam guide rail inside the truss lines and the metal fence-like railings on the cantilevered sidewalk.
Discussion of Surrounding Area
The bridge carries a 2 lane street (Main Street) and one sidewalk over the Youghiogheny River in the borough of West Newton. Main Street may have historic district potential, but the bridge would be beyond and not part of it. The area on the west side of the bridge is dominated by modern commercial development.
Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: Yes
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