Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Rockville Bridge....

This post is a little different for me, but I'll give it a try. This is for you Fish Whisperer.




The present Rockville Bridge is 106 years old this year. The bridge was the Pennsylvania Railroad crossing of the Susquehanna just north of Harrisburg on an alignment to use the "middle route" from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh.





The third of three crossings at this location, the present bridge was completed March 30, 1902 by Drake & Stratton on the east end and H.S. Kerbaugh on the west.





The present bridge has 48 spans, each 70 feet long. Total length is 3,820 feet, the longest stone masonry arch railroad bridge in the world!! Width is 52 feet built for 4 track.The bridge is 46 feet above the normal river level.













In August 1997 pier 19 gave way and dumped 4 loads of coal in the river. If you look close you can see the repaired pier.







Six highwater marks are painted on the east abutment of the current Rockville Bridge. Two of these marks were before the present bridge was built, but perhaps the predecessor bridge shared this abutment.





The top mark is the infamous Hurricane Agnes of June 1972, when the Susquehanna hit an all time high of 32.57 feet, 15 feet over flood stage. The Rockville Bridge stood, but all around the region rail lines were being wiped out, some never to be rebuilt. The Rockville Bridge withstood all floods, but the first wooden bridge was partially destroyed by a tornado.





These are what's left of the second bridge's piers.




From The Pennsylvania Railroad, A Pictorial History by E.P. Alexander, photos presumed to be from the Pennsylvania Railroad archives.





The bridge was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975, and on the National Historic Civil Engineering Landmarks in 1979.

25 comments:

fishing guy said...

Richard: Now that is a time when they knew how to make a structure that would last, so nicely captured.

Pat - An Arkansas Stamper said...

Beautiful bridge photos, and a very interesting narrative. Well done!

Texas Travelers said...

I really like bridge photos. These are great. Magnificent series. You are to be commended on the historical work that you have done. I know it must have taken a lot of time, but the result are worth it. Well done.

Great SWF.

Our Sky Watch is Here.
Come visit the beach,
Troy and Martha

Fish Whisperer said...

I am flattered that you mentioned me. You have done a great job on the bridge. I know it looked interesting but now with what you have done I like it even more. Your images coupled with your research are outstanding. A really great post.
Cheers

Woody said...

Nice shots Rich. Is that the railbridge that Is just south of City Island??

HFD60 said...

Nope, it's the rail bridge north of Harrisburg, just south of Fort Hunter

Bradley Myers said...

Very nice Rich, I liked how you manages to slip your truck into the one shot with the HFD60 on the back.

Kelly said...

I love your pictures of the bridges! So beautiful!!!!!!!

nonizamboni said...

Excellent post and photos. I've crossed the Susquehana a few times--we lived in York for a few years.
Love the arches on this particular bridge. Thanks for sharing!

Lily Hydrangea said...

nice rolling clouds over the bridge and water.

Faye Pekas said...

Greetings, I followed you over from Salty's place to see what you do with your Canon 100-400 L lens. You do very nicely :)

The old bridge is beautiful and has an interesting history.

dlyn said...

Great shots and good info. I think I was just near this bridge earlier this summer - is it near York PA?

HFD60 said...

It's about 5 miles north of Harrisburg.

abbott said...

All around the region rail lines were being wiped out, some never to be rebuilt. The Rockville Bridge withstood all floods, but the first wooden bridge was partially destroyed by a tornado.

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Two of these marks were before the present bridge was built, but perhaps the predecessor bridge shared this abutment.

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