- Walnut Street Bridge (Harrisburg)
bridge_name= Walnut Street Bridge
caption= The People's Bridge. The view facing City Island.
also_known_as= The People's Bridge
design= Wrought iron
The Walnut Street Bridge also known as The People's Bridge, is a
truss bridgethat spans the Susquehanna Riverin Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Built by the Phoenix Bridge Company in 1890, it is the oldest remaining bridge connecting Harrisburg's downtown and Riverfront Park with City Island. Since flooding in 1996 collapsed sections of the western span, it no longer connects to the West Shore.
The bridge was built to break the toll monopoly enjoyed by the neighboring Camelback Bridge (now the Market Street Bridge). The Walnut Street Bridge was closed to motor vehicles and converted to a pedestrian and bikeway link to City Island after the 1972
Hurricane Agnesflood. The eastern span of the bridge is outlined in lights which, along with the City Island facilities, create a dynamic visual effect at night. The 2,801 foot (854 m) span is one of the longest pedestrian bridges in the world. The conversion to pedestrian use gave the bridge a new purpose and it is used by over a million visitors, tourists and residents annually. The bridge was listed on the National Register of Historic Placesin 1972 and is also recognized as a Historic Civil Engineering Landmark.
In January 1996 the Walnut Street bridge lost two of its seven western spans when high floodwaters and a large ice floe lifted the spans off their foundations and swept them down the river. A third span was damaged and later collapsed into the river. Shortly after the loss of the three western spans, the Peoples Bridge Coalition was formed to support the restoration of the bridge. Public surveys show overwhelming support for the restoration of the western spans. It is estimated that restoring the western span of the bridge will cost between $12-15 million dollars (December 2005).
Shortly after the 1996 collapse, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation contracted Modjeski and Masters, Inc. to perform an inspection and analysis to prevent the possibility of future collapse of the remaining structure. A $5 million rehabilitation project was later conducted on the eastern span of the bridge. The rehabilitation project was performed by IA Construction Corporation of Concordville, PA. Now the eastern section of the bridge from Harrisburg to City Island is open to the public.
*cite book | author=Jackson, Donald C. | title=Great American Bridges and Dams | publisher=John Wiley & Sons, New York (USA) | year=1984 | id=ISBN 0-471-14385-5
*cite web|url=http://www.asce.org/history/brdg_walnutst.html|title=Walnut Street Bridge|work=ASCE History and Heritage of Civil Engineering|accessdate=2006-07-04
List of crossings of the Susquehanna River
* [http://www.walnutstreetbridge.org/ People's Bridge Coalition]
structure = Bridges
bridge = Walnut Street Bridge
bridge signs =
M. Harvey Taylor Memorial Bridge
upstream signs =
downstream = Market Street Bridge
downstream signs =
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