Metal truss bridges are an important part of Pennsylvania’s engineering and technological history and are a standing legacy to the state’s iron and steel industry. Unfortunately, modern traffic needs in combination with insufficient maintenance funding, especially for locally owned bridges, has made rehabilitation and ongoing maintenance of these bridges difficult and many of them have been demolished and replaced with modern structures.
In an effort to save the remaining population, PennDOT, with help from the State Historic Preservation Office, has developed a marketing program and seeks groups or individuals interested in acquiring historic metal truss bridges that no longer can meet vehicular needs for adaptive reuse. An important feature of metal truss bridges is their ability to be dismantled and moved, giving them new life as a pedestrian or light vehicular bridge for trails, bike paths, parks, golf courses, and college campuses.
Not only do historic bridges help link a place with its local heritage, they also promote the value of recycling and provide eye-catching designs. Many of these bridges become destination spots attracting heritage tourism and adding economic development to the area.
For more information sign up for the Historic Metal Truss Bridge Newsletter. The newsletter, which will be sent out semi-annually, will highlight available bridges, how to acquire a bridge, adaptive reuse success stories and available funding.