Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Tunkahannock Viaduct

As you approach the small town of Nicholson, Pennsylvania, it's not hard to miss the massive man-made marvel which put the community on the map. Towering 240 feet above the borough, and stretching nearly a 1/2 mile long, the Tunkahannock viaduct is an amazing feat of engineering. Amazingly half the construction of the bridge is located underground, which only gives us a glimpse into the massive severity of this structure and the craftsmanship that went into it's building.

Opened to operations in 1915, the railroad bridge was at that time, the largest concrete bridge in the United States. Concrete was a rather new method of construction at the time, and many doubted the structure's integrity. Well for another 50 years the bridge continued to maintain its noteriety as the largest in the U.S. and was even considered to be the 9th wonder of the World by some. In 1977 the bridge was placed on the National registry of historic places.

Today the viaduct is still in use, helping to transport goods through northern Pennsylvania, as well as southern New York. And the bridge still serves as an essential component to tourism in a tiny mountain town in northeast Pennsylvania. Driving into the area as you witness the quiet town in the foreground, the massive infrastructure nearly takes your breath away.

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