Tunkhannock Viaduct

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Tunkhannock Creek Viaduct
Steamtown-Nicholson-Viaduct.JPG
A Steamtown National Historic Site excursion train crosses Tunkhannock Viaduct.
Carries railroad traffic
Crosses Tunkhannock Creek
Locale Nicholson, Pennsylvania, USA
Designer Abraham Burton Cohen
Design Deck arch bridge
Material concrete
Total length 2,375 feet (723.9 m)
Width two tracks
Longest span 180 feet (54.9 m) each span
Number of spans 10
Clearance below 240 feet (73.2 m)
Construction begin May 1912
Opened

November 6, 1915

Tunkhannock Creek Viaduct
Tunkhannock Viaduct is located in Pennsylvania
Tunkhannock Viaduct
Location in Pennsylvania
Coordinates 41°37′20″N 75°46′38″W / 41.622205°N 75.777335°W / 41.622205; -75.777335Coordinates: 41°37′20″N 75°46′38″W / 41.622205°N 75.777335°W / 41.622205; -75.777335
Area 3 acres (1.2 ha)
Built 1912-1915
Governing body Private
NRHP Reference # 77001203[1]
Significant dates
Added to NRHP April 11, 1977
Designated PHMC September 16, 1995[2]

Tunkhannock Creek Viaduct (also known as the Nicholson Bridge and the Tunkhannock Viaduct) is a concrete deck arch bridge that spans the Tunkhannock Creek in Nicholson, Wyoming County, Pennsylvania in the United States. It consisted of more than five million cubic yards of material and was the largest concrete structure in the world,[3] and was the largest[clarification needed] concrete bridge in the U.S. when it opened, remaining so even 50 years later.[4] The amazing construction photos along with a short history of the bridge were published by the Nicholson Area Library in a brochure in 1976.[5]

The bridge contains about 163,000 cubic yards (125,000 m3) of concrete and 1,250 short tons (1,130 t) of steel.[6][7] It is 2,375 feet (724 m) long and 240 feet (73 m) tall when measured from the creek bed (300 feet (91 m) tall from the bedrock). The bridge was built as part of the Nicholson Cutoff, which was part of a project of the Lackawanna Railroad to replace a winding and hilly route. This rerouting was built between Scranton, Pennsylvania, and Binghamton, New York. All 11 piers were excavated to bedrock, which was up to 138 feet (42 m) below ground level. Almost half of the bulk of the bridge is underground.

The bridge was built by the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad and was designed by Abraham Burton Cohen.[8] Other key DL&W staff were G. J. Ray, chief engineer; F. L. Wheaton, engineer of construction; and C. W. Simpson, resident engineer in charge of the construction. The contractor was Flickwir & Bush, including general manager F. M. Talbot and superintendent W. C. Ritner.[6]

Construction on the bridge began in May 1912, and dedication took place on November 6, 1915, with the opening of the Nicholson cutoff.[9][10] It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on April 11, 1977.[1] Today, the bridge is owned by the Canadian Pacific Railway and is used daily for regular through freight service, including those of the Norfolk Southern.

Since 1990,[11] the local community has celebrated the building of the bridge on the second Sunday of September with "Nicholson Bridge Day", a street fair, parade, and other activities.[12]

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2010-07-09. 
  2. ^ "PHMC Historical Markers". Historical Marker Database. Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission. Retrieved December 20, 2013. 
  3. ^ Jackson, Donald C.; Yearby, Jean P. (1985). "Erie-Lackawanna Railroad, Tunkhannock Viaduct". Historic American Engineering Record. Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress. p. 1. Retrieved January 28, 2014. 
  4. ^ "The Bridge Was Built," Nicholson Area Library, 1976.
  5. ^ a b Simpson, C. W. (1916). "Construction Methods on Viaducts Of The Lackawanna Railroad Over Tunkhannock and Martins Creeks". Water and Sewage Works (Indianapolis, Indiana: Engineering Publishing Company). 50-51: 94–98. Retrieved November 15, 2012. 
  6. ^ In mid-construction, the estimated amounts of material to be required were 169,000 cubic yards (129,000 m3) of concrete and 1,140 short tons (1,030 t) of steel, as recorded in "Progress of Tunkhannock Viaduct Construction on D., L. & W. Relocation," Engineering Record 68, No. 22 (29 Nov. 1913): 594.
  7. ^ "The Nicholson Bridge". 
  8. ^ "Northeast Pennsylvania, Nicholson Viaduct". 
  9. ^ http://www.nicholsonheritage.org/tunkhannock-creek-viaduct/
  10. ^ Baker, Robert L. (September 7, 2011). "100 years in the making". Wyoming County Press Examiner. Retrieved September 6, 2013. 
  11. ^ "Nicholson Bridge Day". 

Further reading[edit]

  • Plowden, David (2002). Bridges: The Spans of North America. New York, NY: W.W. Norton and Company. 
  • "Tunkhannock Viaduct". ASCE History and Heritage of Civil Engineering. Retrieved 2009-11-02. 

External links[edit]