The Susquehanna River in Bradford County once played host to two of the rarest and most important bridges in Pennsylvania and perhaps the country, the record-length Ulster Bridge and the one-of-a-kind Athens Bridge (demolished before this website could document it). Now that those have been destroyed, the Wyalusing Bridge has emerged as the longest truss bridge in the county, and the only truss bridge, and the oldest bridge of any kind, on the Susquehanna River in Bradford County. The bridge is an example of a standard plan truss design that was built in Pennsylvania. The Wyalusing Bridge is a particularly large, multi-span example of this design.
The Historic Bridge Inventory condemns the Wyalusing Bridge as common technology that is unworthy of recognition. Indeed, its significance was almost trivial next to something like the Ulster Bridge and the Athens Bridge, which were both standing when the inventory was conducted. However, in a county that has been devastated by this nation's failed transportation and historic preservation policies that waste tax dollars and destroy history, and where the aforementioned bridges have been demolished, the Wyalusing Bridge should be re-evaluated as historic, and a preservation plan for this large and impressive structure should be developed and executed. The Susquehanna River is a large, scenic river, and the Wyalusing Bridge is a beautiful, historic asset to the beauty of this river.
Information and Findings From Pennsylvania's Historic Bridge Inventory
Discussion of Bridge
The 12 span, 1,461'-long bridge built in 1942 is composed of 4 riveted Parker thru truss spans and 8 spans of continuous steel stringers. The stringer spans have riveted splice plates. The substructure is concrete. Safety shape barriers were placed in 1993. The bridge is not an early example of a riveted Parker thru truss or of continuous stringers. Neither the bridge nor its setting are historically or technologically significant. It is the early examples of the continuous stringers like 55 0030 0290 1306 built in 1938 that mark the introduction of the continuous stringer bridge in Pennsylvania.
Discussion of Surrounding Area
The bridge carries a 2 lane state highway over the North Branch of the Susquehanna River and its floodplain south of and beyond the borough of Wyalusing. The predominantly wooded setting does not have historic district potential. A modern school is beyond one quadrant.
Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: No
Information From Skelly and Loy Demolition Mitigation Website
The Wyalusing Bridge or Rainbow Bridge is a combination of four Parker thru truss spans and eight spans of continuous steel stringers. The Pennsylvania State Highway Department has been attributed with its fabrication in 1942. Built in 1942, the bridge is 1461' long with a concrete substructure. The stringer spans have riveted splice plates. The truss spans are composed of rolled section members with riveted connections. This bridge has been determined not eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places.
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