Just about halfway between Washington and Claysville, where US 40 meets PA Route 221, sits one of the better examples of National Road infrastructure within Pennsylvania. The Claysville 'S' Bridge sits just west of the intersection with PA 221 and is a great piece of the National Road's past.
|Looking eastwards at the Claysville 'S' Bridge. (Adam Prince, July 2009)|
The stone arch bridge was built between 1815 and 1818 and carried travelers between Washington and Claysville for over a century. The bridge over an unnamed branch of Buffalo Creek is the only stone-arch 'S' bridge along the National Road in Pennsylvania.
|Now looking westwards - grass has taken over the old roadway. (Adam Prince; July 2009)|
As the automobile era began to develop, the Claysville 'S' Bridge would become obsolete. The National Road and US 40 would be straightened just to the bridges south with a new and much smaller concrete bridge crossing the creek.
|The Claysville 'S' Bridge not long after a new straighter alignment of US 40 took its place. The photo above still has pavement along the bridge and the original alignment of US 40. The photo below shows how the bridge was cut to make way for the new alignment of US 40. (A.S. Burns/Library of Congress - 1933)|
|(A.S. Burns/Library of Congress - 1933)|
That then 'new' US 40 bridge would be replaced in 2009. Though abandoned from automobile use - the 'S' bridge was preserved as a roadside park which it remains to this day. The bridge was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1974 and remains a popular stop for locals and tourists following the highway.
|By the mid-century, the 'S' bridge had become a roadside park complete with picnic tables. The old road bed is now entirely grass. (Image courtesy cardcow.com)|
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|Detail of the stone arches. (Adam Prince, July 2009)|