Manayunk Bridge

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Manayunk Bridge
LOOKING SOUTH, BRIDGE CROSSING SCHUYLKILL RIVER. - Pennsylvania Railroad, Manayunk Bridge, Spanning Schuylkill Expressway (I-76), Schuylkill River and Green Lane, Philadelphia, HAER PA,51-PHILA,723-4.tif
Manayunk Bridge in 1999
Coordinates 40°01′31″N 75°13′35″W / 40.02528°N 75.22639°W / 40.02528; -75.22639Coordinates: 40°01′31″N 75°13′35″W / 40.02528°N 75.22639°W / 40.02528; -75.22639
Carries Former SEPTA Ivy Ridge Line
Crosses Schuylkill River and Schuylkill Expressway
Locale Manayunk, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Other name(s) Manayunk Viaduct
Maintained by SEPTA
Characteristics
Design Open spandrel deck arch
Material Concrete
Longest span 150 feet (46 m)
No. of spans 15
Piers in water 3
History
Designer Pennsylvania Railroad
Constructed by T. L. Eyre (Philadelphia)
Construction end 1918
Closed 1986

The Manayunk Bridge (a.k.a. Manayunk Viaduct) is a historic bridge in Pennsylvania across the Schuylkill River and adjacent Schuylkill Canal between Bala Cynwyd in Montgomery County and the Manayunk neighborhood of Philadelphia. It is now used as an extension of the Cynwyd Heritage Trail to connect to the Schuylkill River Trail after a rail-to-trail conversion.

History[edit]

The deck of the bridge in 1999, after the rails had already been removed

Built by the former Schuylkill Valley Division of the Pennsylvania Railroad, it is a large concrete open spandrel arch bridge built on a reverse curve, earning both the current bridge and its 1883 wrought-iron-truss predecessor the nickname of "S-Bridge."[1] The bridge's challenging geometry was executed by T. L. Eyre, a Philadelphia contractor. Another notable feature is the saw-toothed construction joints along a 65-degree skew.[2]

In 1976, SEPTA purchased the bridge for its Ivy Ridge Line (now Cynwyd Line). Ten years later, after weather-related expansion and contraction of the bridge, and the shedding of pieces of concrete due to spalling, SEPTA closed the bridge on October 25, 1986, truncating service at Cynwyd and suspended service to three of the line's six stations (Ivy Ridge, Manayunk, and Walnut Hill). Between 1996 and 1999, the bridge was stabilized and refurbished.[3] The effort determined that the internal steel reinforcement was not compromised, as SEPTA had feared.[1] Further investigation by Urban Engineers determined that the bridge was safe and only needed surface work to stop the spalling.[1]

SEPTA has not resumed service to Ivy Ridge; in 1996 low ridership led SEPTA to consider discontinuing service to Cynwyd altogether.[4]

Manayunk Bridge Trail[edit]

Walkers on the Manayunk Bridge Trail in October 2015, shortly after the trail opened

Between 2008 and June 2010, SEPTA removed all 2.5 miles (4.0 km) of tracks north of Cynwyd for the Cynwyd Heritage Trail[5] and Ivy Ridge Rail Trail.[6]

On October 30, 2015 the ribbon was cut on the Manayunk Bridge Trail, a conversion of the bridge for use by people walking and bicycling. Designed by Whitman, Requardt & Associates, LLP, the trail features separate areas for walking and bicycling, along with a shared plaza in the center of the bridge that can be programmed for special events. Railings and fencing are in keeping with the historic industrial nature of the bridge.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Spivey, Justin M. (April 2000). "Pennsylvania Railroad, Manayunk Bridge" (PDF). Historic American Engineering Record. Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress. Retrieved January 31, 2014. 
  2. ^ Wolf, Albert M. (February 9, 1918). "New Pennsylvania Railroad Bridge at Manayunk, Pa.". Railway Review. 62 (6): 194–199. 
  3. ^ Veksler, Rafail; Thorat, Abhay P. (September 1999). "The Arch Bridge Mystery". Civil Engineering. 69 (9): 48–51. 
  4. ^ Williams, Gerry (1998). Trains, Trolleys & Transit: A Guide to Philadelphia Area Rail Transit. Piscataway, NJ: Railpace Company. p. 84. ISBN 978-0-9621541-7-1. OCLC 43543368. 
  5. ^ cynwydtrail.org
  6. ^ Ivy Ridge Green

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]