Skip to main content

Pennsylvania Route 291 over the George C. Platt Bridge

George C. Platt Bridge is an 8,780-foot-long cantilever through truss span located in the city of Philadelphia.  The George C. Platt Bridge carries Pennsylvania Route 291 via Penrose Avenue over the Schuylkill River east of Interstate 95 towards Interstate 76.  The George C. Platt Bridge opened during 1951 and was a replacement for the earlier Penrose Ferry Bridge. 


Part 1; the history of the George C. Platt Bridge

Prior to the construction of George C. Platt Bridge traffic over the Schuylkill River was carried by way of the last generation Penrose Ferry Bridge.  The last Penrose Ferry Bridge initially was completed over the Schuylkill River by 1878 and featured an iron swing span design.  The iron swing span of the Penrose Ferry Bridge can be seen during 1880 in a Philadelphia Department of Records photo (courtesy Philadelphia.blogspot.com).

The iron swing span of the Penrose Ferry Bridge was replaced by a steel swing span during 1900.  The steel swing span of Penrose Ferry Bridge can be seen below in a Philadelphia Department of Records photo (courtesy bridgerhunter.com) dated to 1910.

The original iteration of Pennsylvania Route 191 was aligned over the Penrose Ferry Bridge by 1928.  Pennsylvania Route 191 was aligned between US Route 1/Baltimore Pike and Broad Street in downtown Philadelphia via Penrose Avenue.  The Penrose Ferry Bridge would remain in service until March 29, 1947, when it was struck by a container ship.  Pennsylvania Route 191 and the Penrose Ferry Bridge can be seen below on the 1948 Rand McNally Map of Philadelphia.  


The damage to the Penrose Ferry Bridge necessitated it be replaced by a modernized span.  The Penrose Avenue Bridge would open on September 12, 1951, as part of an extended Pennsylvania Route 291.  The Penrose Avenue Bridge was a fixed 8,780-foot-long cantilever through truss span which provided more utility than the previous swing span of the Penrose Ferry Bridge.  The Penrose Ferry Bridge can be seen carrying Pennsylvania Route 291 over the Schuylkill River on the 1956 Gousha Map of Philadelphia.  

A steel divider was installed on the Penrose Avenue during 1967 to mitigate head on collisions.  The Penrose Avenue Bridge was renamed in honor of Civil War figure George Crawford Platt during 1979.  During 1984 and 2011-2014 the George C. Platt Bridge was rehabilitated.  Below the fixed span of the George C. Platt Bridge can be seen a D. Thomsen photo (courtesy bridgehunter.org). 


Part 2; a drive on the George C. Platt Bridge

The below sequence of photos was taken by Tom Fearer during the 2022 Philadelphia, PA National Road Meet along the George C. Platt Bridge.  Below Pennsylvania Route 291 can be seen crossing the George C. Platt Bridge east from Interstate 95 over the Schuylkill River towards Interstate 76.  













Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Sunshine Bridge (Donaldsonville, LA)

Located about halfway between Baton Rouge and New Orleans in southern Louisiana, the Sunshine Bridge spans the lower Mississippi River near the city of Donaldsonville as part of the longer Louisiana Highway 70 corridor, which connects Interstate 10 and Airline Highway (US 61) with US 90 in Morgan City. In the years following World War II, the only bridges across the lower Mississippi River in Louisiana were located in the area of the state’s two largest cities – Baton Rouge and New Orleans. Postwar agricultural and industrial development along the river in this region led to the planning of a series of infrastructure projects in southern Louisiana that were aimed at spurring this development and modernization of the Delta region. One of these projects was known as the Acadian Thruway and was developed in the 1950s as a toll road intended to connect greater New Orleans with Lafayette and points west while providing a high-speed bypass of the Baton Rouge metro area. The Thruway, which

Horace Wilkinson Bridge (Baton Rouge, LA)

Standing tall across from downtown Baton Rouge, the Horace Wilkinson Bridge carries Interstate 10 across the lower Mississippi River between West Baton Rouge and East Baton Rouge Parishes. Unusually, the bridge is actually named for three separate people; three generations of Horace Wilkinsons who served in the Louisiana State Legislature over a combined period of 54 years. Constructed in the 1960s and opened to traffic in 1968, this is one of the largest steel bridges on the lower Mississippi. It’s also the tallest bridge across the Mississippi, with its roadway reaching 175 ft at the center span. Baton Rouge is the northernmost city on the river where deep-water, ocean-going vessels can operate. As a result, this bridge is the northernmost bridge on the river of truly gigantic proportions. Altogether, the bridge is nearly 2 ½ miles long and its massive truss superstructure is 4,550 ft long with a center main truss span of 1,235 ft. The Horace Wilkinson Bridge is one of the largest

Natchez-Vidalia Bridge (Natchez, MS)

  Located about halfway between Baton Rouge and Vicksburg near the city of Natchez, the Natchez-Vidalia Bridge crosses the lower Mississippi River between southwest Mississippi and northeastern Louisiana at the city of Vidalia. This river crossing is a dual span, which creates an interesting visual effect that is atypical on the Mississippi River in general. Construction on the original bridge took place in the late 1930s in conjunction with a much larger parallel effort by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to strengthen the area’s flood protection and levee system along the Mississippi River. One of the more ambitious aspects of this plan was to relocate the city of Vidalia to a location of higher ground about one mile downriver from the original settlement. The redirection of the river through the Natchez Gorge (which necessitated the relocation of the town) and the reconstruction of the river’s levee system in the area were undertaken in the aftermath of the Great Flood of 1927, wh