Across The Susquehanna #09472

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The Story

In morning light, this Harrisburg bridge was built by the Philadelphia & Reading Railroad to cross the Susquehanna River. Rebuilt in its current form in 1924 over top of an earlier bridge’s piers, it is a massive reinforced concrete structure over 3500 feet in length. Today after the reshuffling of railroad ownerships through the years including the PRR and Penn Central, the bridge is owned by Norfolk Southern. The two tracks running over it to the west connect to Hagerstown MD.

In this summer picture, the morning sunlight goes under the repeating arches of this huge, high bridge. To be near it, and walk under it through Riverside Park in Harrisburg, can make a person feel rather small indeed. The bridge piers are 76 feet apart and there are fifty-three of them total.

The City of Harrisburg could also be known as the City of Bridges due to the long magnificent spans that cross here. There are several in a cluster right at Harrisburg: two carry rail, two carry vehicular traffic, and another, the Walnut Street bridge, carries only foot traffic.

However, quite close by to the north is the bridge carrying I-81 across the Susquehanna. Not much further north is the famous Rockville Bridge carrying the Norfolk Southern Railroad east-west mainline tracks.

The Susquehanna River is very wide at this point, approaching a mile in width. The eastern side of this Harrisburg bridge is directly in Harrisburg, PA, and the western bank landing is in Lemoyne PA.

Location: the Philadelphia and Reading railroad bridge over the Susquehanna River at Harrisburg PA. Picture and story © Andrew Dierks

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