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Tunkhannock Viaduct

Nicholson Bridge

   
                  


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Bridge Documented: May 26, 2007
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Key Facts
Bridge Name Facility Carried / Feature Intersected Location Structure Type Construction Date and Builder/Engineer
Tunkhannock Viaduct
Nicholson Bridge
Railroad (St Lawrence and Hudson / Norfolk Southern) Over Tunkhannock Creek Nicholson: Wyoming County, Pennsylvania Concrete Open Spandrel Deck Arch, Fixed 1915 By Builder/Contractor: Flickwir and Bush of New York, New York
Technical Facts
Rehabilitation Date Main Span Length Structure Length Roadway Width Main Spans
1940 180 Feet (54.9 Meters) 2375 Feet (723.9 Meters) 34 Feet (10.4 Meters) 12

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth and Rick McOmber

View Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) Documentation For This Bridge

HAER Data Pages, PDF

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View Historical Articles About This Bridge

Among the greatest bridges in the world is the famous Tunkhannock Viaduct, which has been called the 9th Wonder of the World.  It truly is impressive to see a bridge that is so large and tall that it soars above the hills of Pennsylvania.

Concrete had not really been in use for bridge building all that long (mainly starting around 1900), when this bridge was built in 1915. This did not stop builders from constructing this bridge that would become the largest concrete bridge in the world. As late as 1990, this bridge appears to have retained this record as largest concrete bridge in the world. Further testimony to the significance of this bridge is the fact it has been registered as a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark, one of the most elite historic designations a bridge can receive.

The construction of this bridge caused the town, which had a population of 900 to add 2600 people to its population. The actual workforce for the bridge was about 500 people.

Be sure to view the photo gallery for pictures of a much more extensive historical narrative of this bridge (which is located at an interpretive area near the bridge itself) that also includes photos of its construction. To go even more in-depth, be sure to view the collection of articles that HistoricBridges.org compiled for convenient viewing. These articles discuss numerous aspects of the bridge and also include photos and drawings.

Concrete railings were added to the bridge in 1940. Interestingly, those have proved less durable than the 1915 bridge, and are deteriorating. The repair of these should be considered simply to improve the aesthetic quality of the bridge. Certainly, the need to maintain and preserve the bridge itself is of paramount importance, however for how old the bridge is, it seems to be in excellent condition currently.

If you visit this bridge, don't forget to travel north a short distance and visit its "little" brother, the Kingsley Bridge, which when you take the Tunkhannock Viaduct out of the picture, is a very large and impressive bridge as well, as is also well-worth a visit.

There is also supposed to be a very long tunnel on this railroad line nearby, although this website unfortunately did not have time to check it out.

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Photos and Videos: Tunkhannock Viaduct

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