Thursday, April 18, 2013

Pennsylvania's Columbia-Wrightsville Bridge-- Part 1

From Wikipedia

I'd never heard of this bridge or the role it played in causing the Battle of Gettysburg.  In addition, that was one huge bridge for that time or even today.  Actually, the one that was burned war not the first bridge at the site, nor was its replacement the last.

The first bridge over the Susquehanna at that point was begun in 1812, a covered bridge and completed in 1814 (good thing the war did not intrude on that area).  It cost $231,771 and was a mile long, at 5,690 feet, 30 feet wide and tolls were $1.50 for a wagon and six horses.

It was destroyed by ice, high water and severe weather February 5, 1832.

Construction on its replacement began in mid-1832 and was completed in 1834, at the cost of $157,300. (I imagine they used some of the original piers.  This new one was, at 5,620 feet, the world's longest covered bridge, 28 feet wide and held up by 27 piers.  It had a carriage/wagon way, a walking path and two towpaths to guide canal traffic across the river (now, that is a bit confusing, a bridge for canal traffic?)

Tolls were $1 a wagon and 6 cents a pedestrian.

More to Come.  --Old Secesh

No comments: