Skip to main content

Hares Hill Road Bridge - Chester County, Pennsylvania


The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has plenty of interesting and historic bridges. While the state hosts a large number of covered bridges, there are a good number of historic iron truss bridges that can be found as well. By happenstance, I found the Hares Hill Road Bridge in Chester County while driving around the county this past summer. Also known as the Silver Bridge, this bridge was built in 1869 and spans over the scenic French Creek in East Pikeland Township between Kimberton and Phoenixville at a length of 105 feet. But the bridge's age isn't what makes it unique.

The Hares Hill Bridge was built by the Moseley Iron Bridge and Roof Company of Boston, Massachusetts and is a wrought iron bowstring bridge. The bridge was designed by Thomas Moseley, who held patents on wrought iron bridges going back to 1857. The bridge is one of the earliest examples of a bowstring truss bridge, a type of bridge that rapidly came and went into fashion, briefly becoming popular during the years following the Civil War. Bowstring truss bridges are rare enough today, and it is possible that the Hares Hill Bridge may be the last of its kind. The bridge is also among the oldest metal bridges of any design remaining in North America. As a result, the historic significance of the Hares Hill Bridge may not have a similar comparison to other small highway bridges within the United States of America.

The bridge should have a good future ahead of it. There was a project that took place in 2018 to allow the rehabilitation of the Hares Hill Road Bridge by reconstructing the damaged and deteriorated wingwalls, reconstructing the stone masonry parapets with reinforced concrete, and installing brown guiderail to protect the blunt ends of the parapets. A concrete strip on the bridge deck has also been installed to allow for easier crossing by cyclists.

There is a pull-off at the south end of the bridge if you want to check out the bridge, or perhaps to fish or enjoy the nearby French Creek Trail. This made it easy to explore the Hares Hill Road Bridge in all of its glory.

The Hares Hill Road Bridge crosses French Creek, part of the Pennsylvania Scenic Rivers System.

Side profile of the Hares Hill Road Bridge and related stone masonry work.

Examining the wrought iron work along the bridge.

Wading in the French Creek Bridge to get all of the good bridge pictures.

Bridge plaque commemorating the commissioners and contractor at the time of the original construction of the Hares Hill Road Bridge in 1869.

Bridge plaque honoring the bridge masonry rehabilitation in 2018.

A parting shot as I get ready to bid the Hares Hill Road Bridge adieu.

How to Get There:

Sources and Links: - Hares Hill Road Bridge - Hares Hill Road Bridge
The Mercury - Hares Hill Road bridge re-opens in East Pikeland (August 20, 2018)


Popular posts from this blog

US Route 101 in Benbow, Garberville and Redway

The communities of Benbow, Garberville and Redway can all be found along US Route 101 within southern Humboldt County.  The former surface alignment of US Route 101 in Garberville and Redway once crossed the Garberville Bluffs along what is now Redwood Drive via a corridor constructed as part of the Redwood Highway during the 1910s.  US Route 101 through Benbow, Garberville and Redway was modernized by 1935.  US Route 101 would eventually be upgraded to freeway standards in Benbow, Garberville and Redway by extension of the Redwood Freeway during 1966-68.  As the cover photo the original grade of US Route 101 and the Redwood Highway can be seen at the Garberville Bluffs during 1934.  US Route 101 can be seen in the communities of Benbow, Garberville and Redway on the 1935 Division of Highways Map of Humboldt County .   The history of US Route 101 in Benbow, Garberville and Redway Benbow, Garberville and Redway lie on the banks of the South Fork Eel River of southern Humboldt County.  D

Patterson Pass Road

Recently on a day trip to the San Francisco Bay Area I traversed the Diablo Range eastbound via Patterson Pass Road. Patterson Pass Road is an approximately 13 mile roadway which starts at Mines Road in Livermore of Alameda County.  Patterson Pass Road eastward ascends over the approximately 1,600 foot namesake Patterson Pass into San Joaquin County where it ends at Interstate 580 near Tracy.  Patterson Pass Road has an infamous reputation as being a dangerous roadway due to the lengthy one-lane section and heavy rush-hour commute traffic. Patterson Pass is one of the earliest documented European paths of travel over the Diablo Range as it was explored during the 1775-1776 Spanish Expedition led by Juan Bautista de Anza.  The 1775-1776 Spanish expedition charted out much of San Francisco Bay which led to the founding of the Presidio of San Francisco and Mission San Francisco de Asis.  Patterson Pass Road between Cross Road east to Midway Road is part of the Juan Bautista de Anza

Highways in and around Old Sacramento; US 40, US 99W, CA 16, CA 24, CA 70, CA 99, CA 275, and more

This past weekend I was visiting the City of Sacramento for a wedding.  That being the case I decided to head out on a morning run through Old Sacramento, Jibboom Street Bridge, I Street Bridge, Tower Bridge, and path of US Route 40/US Route 99W towards the California State Capitol.  My goal was to retrace the paths of the various highways that once traversed the Old Sacramento area. This blog is part of the larger Gribblenation US Route 99 Page.  For more information pertaining to the other various segments of US Route 99 and it's three-digit child routes check out the link the below. Gribblenation US Route 99 Page The old highway alignments of Sacramento The City of Sacramento lies at the confluence of the Sacramento River and American River in Sacramento Valley.  Sacramento Valley was discovered by Spanish Explorer Gabriel Moraga in 1808.  Moraga referred to the fertile Sacramento Valley akin to a "Blessed Sacrament."  By 1839 John Sutter Sr. settled in Mexican held