Starrucca Viaduct is a stone
arch bridge that spans Starrucca Creek near Lanesboro,
Pennsylvania, in the United States.
Starrucca Viaduct, 23 October
At the time of its construction, the bridge
was thought to be the most expensive railway bridge in the world,
at a cost of $320,000, and it was the largest stone rail viaduct in
the mid-19th century. It was designed by Julius W. Adams
and built in
1847-1848 by New York and
, of locally-quarried random ashlar bluestone
, except for three brick interior
walls and the
concrete base portions of the piers and deck covering. This may
have been the first structural use of concrete in American bridge
was built to solve an
engineering problem posed by the wide valley of Starrucca Creek.
The railroad initially considered building an embankment, but
abandoned the idea because it was impractical. The Erie Railroad
was well-financed by British investors, but even with money
available, most American contractors at the time were incapable of
the task. Julius W. Adams, the superintending engineer of
construction in the area, hired James P. Kirkwood, a civil engineer
who had previously worked on the Long Island Rail Road
. Accounts differ
as to whether Kirkwood worked on the bridge himself, or whether
Adams was responsible for the plans with Kirkwood working as a
subordinate. It took 800 workers, each paid about $1 per day, to
complete the bridge in a year. The falsework
for the bridge required more than half a
million feet of cored and hewn timbers.
The bridge has been in continual use for more than a century and a
half, and is still in use by the Norfolk Southern Railway.
Norfolk Southern sold the portion of the line from Port Jervis, New
York to Binghamton, New York to the Delaware Otsego Corporation, who
operates it under the name Central New York Railway.
The only railroad currently using it is the New York, Susquehanna
and Western Railway
. The viaduct is listed on the National Register of
and is a Historic Civil Engineering