Skip to main content

The National Road - Pennsylvania - Claysville 'S' Bridge

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)
Detail of the stone arches. (Adam Prince, July 2009)

Site Navigation:
Sources & Links:

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Hetch Hetchy Valley; Hetch Hetchy Railroad, abandoned Lake Eleanor Road, and the Wapama Fall Bridge

This June I took a trip out to Yosemite National Park upon receiving my COVID-19 Day Use Reservation.  My destination in Yosemite National Park was out in Hetch Hetchy Valley.  I sought to hike to the Wapama Fall Bridge which took me through some of the path of the former Hetch Hetchy Valley Railroad and abandoned Lake Eleanor Road.



Part 1; Hetch Hetchy Valley, the Hetch Hetchy Railroad, and reservoir roads

Hetch Hetchy is glacially carved valley similar to Yosemite Valley which is located on the Tuolumne River of Tuolumne County.  Hetch Hetchy Valley presently is impounded by the O'Shaughnessy Dam which was completed during 1923 as part of a project to deliver water and hydroelectric power to the City of San Francisco.  Before being impounded Hetch Hetchy Valley had an average depth of approximately 1,800 feet with a maximum depth of approximately 3,000 feet.  Hetch Hetchy Valley is approximately three miles long and as much as a half mile wide.  Hetch Hetchy Valley is located dow…

Mineral King Road, the White Chief Mine, and the unbuilt California State Route 276

Back in July of 2016 I took Mineral King Road east from California State Route 198 to Mineral King Valley within the Sierra Nevada Mountains of Sequoia National Park.  This June I revisited Mineral King Valley and made my way up to the White Chief Mine.


Mineral King Road is a 24.8 mile rural highway maintained by the National Park Service and as Tulare County Mountain Road 375.  Mineral King Road originates at California State Route 198 in Three Rivers near the confluence of the Middle Fork Kaweah River and the East Fork Kaweah River.  Mineral King Road climbs from a starting elevation of 1,400 feet above sea level to 7,830 feet above sea level at the White Chief Mine Trailhead in Mineral King Valley.  Notably Mineral King Road is stated to have 697 curves.


Mineral King Road has an average grade of 5.1% but has several stretches between 15-20% in places.  Pjammycycling has a detailed breakdown on the grade levels over the entirety of Mineral King Road.

Pjammycycling on Mineral King R…

California's Rogue Sign State Route Shields

While recently revisiting Yosemite National Park I took a couple minutes to capture some of the California Sign State Route shields posted by the National Park Service ("NPS").  None of the NPS shields were actually posted on roadways maintained by Caltrans but were clearly intended to create route continuity with the Sign State Highways.  This phenomenon is not exclusive to Yosemite National Park and can be found on numerous roads not maintained by Caltrans throughout California.



Part 1; Route continuity over who maintains the route

In the very early era of State Highways in California the Division of Highways didn't actually field sign the Auto Trails or even US Routes.  The responsibility of Highway signage fell to the California State Automobile Association ("CSAA") and Automobile Club of Southern California ("ACSC").  The Auto Clubs simply signed Highways on roadways that best served navigational purposes.  These navigational purposes often didn&#…