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Fallston Bridge

Fallston Bridge

Fallston Bridge

The Fallston Bridge is an ornate wrought and cast iron structure that traverses the Beaver River between the boroughs of New Brighton and Fallston, Pennsylvania and is the oldest bridge in Beaver County. The Penn Bridge Company of Beaver Falls in 1884 replaced the original Fallston Bridge erected by the Fallston Bridge Company in 1936.  The initial bridge was a tolled, wooden structure that was demolished by a major storm on February 7, 1884 and swept away by the resultant flood.



The 406-foot long vehicular bridge was constructed as a two-span pin connected Whipple through truss.  The bridge has a 20-foot wide-open grated deck for a driving surface.  The bridge also has both diagonal tension members and vertical compression members between the upper and lower chords, with the diagonals sloped toward the center. 

Squire Whipple (1804–1888) patented the Whipple through truss in 1847.  Whipple was a civil engineer, inventor, theoretician, and was considered the father of scientific bridge building as he developed the first mathematically based rules for bridge construction. Squire published the first significant formula to calculate stresses in the articulated truss.

The Whipple truss is a stronger version of the Pratt truss and is known as the "Double-intersection Pratt" because the diagonal tension members cross two panels, while those on the Pratt cross only one. They were usually built where the span required was longer than was practical with a Pratt truss. Thomas and Caleb Pratt designed the Pratt truss in 1844.


The Fallston Bridge is a rare instance of a Whipple truss highway bridge since this design was primarily used for railroad bridges and used sparingly for roads.  Only a few wrought iron examples survive today. Truss bridges are one of the oldest types of modern bridges. Renovations occurred in 1981 and 2005. The bridge is eligible for the National Register of Historic Places.


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Upcoming Events

Thu 26 Jul 8:00pm
Venue: Underwear Bike Ride Lawrenceville meeting spot

Tue 31 Jul 3:00pm
Venue: Old Economy Village Visitor Center

Sun 12 Aug 8:00am
Venue: Pittsburgh Southside Riverfront Park

Sun 12 Aug 8:30am
Venue: Rochester Riverfront Park

Sun 12 Aug 5:30pm
Venue: Fred Taddeo Park

Sun 26 Aug 7:00am
Venue: Birmingham Bridge

Sat 1 Sep 7:00am
Venue: Riverside Park

Sat 1 Sep 9:00am
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Sat 1 Sep 10:00am
Venue: Sandy Creek Trail Fisherman's Cove Trailhead

Sun 9 Sep 8:30am
Venue: Rochester Riverfront Park

Wed 19 Sep 8:00am

Sat 22 Sep 7:00am
Venue: Montour Trail Mile Zero

Sun 23 Sep 10:00am
Venue: Moon Community Park

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