Columbia Railroad Bridge

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Columbia Railroad Bridge
Phila ColumbiaRailroadBridge01.png
Columbia Railroad Bridge
Coordinates 39°59′08″N 75°12′13″W / 39.98556°N 75.20361°W / 39.98556; -75.20361Coordinates: 39°59′08″N 75°12′13″W / 39.98556°N 75.20361°W / 39.98556; -75.20361
Carries CSX Trenton Subdivision
Crosses Kelly Drive, Schuylkill River, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive
Locale Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Other name(s) Columbia Bridge
Characteristics
Design Arch bridge, closed spandrel[1]
Material Concrete
Total length Total length between face abutments is 971 feet 3 7/8 inches.[2]
Width Total width under coping is 57 feet 6 inches.[2]
No. of spans 8
History
Designer Samuel Tobias Wagner, Chief Engineer for the Philadelphia & Reading Railway[3]
Constructed by

Pennsylvania & Reading Railway, with contracts for grading and the construction of the masonry, including the foundations, were placed with Messrs. Seeds & Derham, of Philadelphia. The waterproofing was done under contract with the Minwax Company of New York.

The removal of the old wrought iron superstructure was by Henry Hitner & Sons, Philadelphia.[4]
Construction start July 1917[4]
Opened Railroad traffic first crossed on two tracks 24 March 1920 at 11 am. The completion of the bridge, rail traffic all four tracks, was 11 October 1921.[5]

Columbia Railroad Bridge, also known as "Columbia Bridge", is a 1920 concrete arch bridge in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, that carries CSX Trenton Subdivision rail lines over the Schuylkill River.[6] Located in Fairmount Park, upstream of the Pennsylvania Railroad Connecting Bridge, it is the third railroad bridge at the site. Near its east abutment are the Schuylkill Grandstand (for viewing rowing regattas) and the John B. Kelly statue.

First bridge[edit]

The first bridge at this location was an 1834 covered bridge[7] of white pine and seven spans. It was built by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for the Philadelphia & Columbia Railroad, which connected Philadelphia and Columbia in Lancaster County. An inclined plane on the bridge's west side drew the railway cars up Belmont Hill by cable. In 1851, the Philadelphia & Reading Railroad bought the bridge from the state.[6]

Second bridge[edit]

The second bridge was erected in 1886 by the Reading Railroad to carry increasingly heavy freight traffic. It was a two-track, wrought-iron Pratt truss bridge that served until 1920.[6]

Current bridge[edit]

The current bridge was completed in 1920 with two tracks. Two more were added in 1921, but now there are only two tracks on this bridge.[6]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Reconstruction of the Columbia Bridge," by Samuel Tobias Wagner, Transactions of the Wagner Free Institute of Science of Philadelphia, Volume X, October 1923, pp.19–20.
  2. ^ a b "The Reconstruction of the Columbia Bridge," by Samuel Tobias Wagner, Transactions of the Wagner Free Institute of Science of Philadelphia, Volume X, October 1923, p. 19.
  3. ^ "The Reconstruction of the Columbia Bridge," by Samuel Tobias Wagner, Transactions of the Wagner Free Institute of Science of Philadelphia, Volume X, October 1923, pp. 15–27.
  4. ^ a b "The Reconstruction of the Columbia Bridge," by Samuel Tobias Wagner, Transactions of the Wagner Free Institute of Science of Philadelphia, Volume X, October 1923, p. 26.
  5. ^ "The Reconstruction of the Columbia Bridge," by Samuel Tobias Wagner, Transactions of the Wagner Free Institute of Science of Philadelphia, Volume X, October 1923, p. 25.
  6. ^ a b c d Columbia Bridge (Sign). Under the bridge along West River Drive, near Montgomery Drive: Fairmount Park Commission. 07-01-2006.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  7. ^ "View from the Inclined Plane, near Philadelphia". The Library Company of Philadelphia. World Digital Library. Retrieved 31 December 2013.