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Nicholson / Tunkhannock Viaduct, Nicholson, PA - 2


The Great Lackawanna Bridge at Nicholson, Pa.
"An interesting collection of views of this immense structure
with additional views showing methods of construction."
J. E. Blain, Publisher, Thompson, Pa.


[Also known as the Tunkhannock Viaduct, the railroad bridge's construction was begun in May of 1912
and it was dedicated on November 6, 1915.]
(Click images to enlarge)
Views of the Great Lackawanna Bridge at Nicholson, Pa. Nineteen-fifteen Edition Side view of the bridge from hill overlooking the village of Nicholson, Pa. Steel forms upon which the arches are built. These forms, if put together upon the ground would span four average width city building lots.
Cable tower at Eastern end of the bridge. This temporary structure is 169 feet high and supports a weight of 170 tons. Rock cut at Eastern end of the bridge. 365,000 cubic yards of solid rock were removed at this point to avoid tunneling. Temporary suspension bridge over Tunkhannock creek for use of workmen.
4,000 feet of narrow gauge railroad make possible the quick transportation of all supplies needed in the construction of the bridge. 4 "dinky" engines and 14 flat cars comprise the rolling stock of this miniature railroad. Bucket trains waiting their turn at the concrete mixer. Each bucket holds two cubic yards of concrete, and when filled, are drawn to the bridge and elevated to the horizontal cables and then moved into position over the "forms" and lowered. They are emptied from the bottom. One of four engines operating the "sky railroad." All signals are given from "central" located at the foot of center tower. Up, Down, Forward or Back by telephone to the "direct connected" engineer, calls for the rapid and careful shifting of the six levers as shown.
The Great Lackawanna Bridge, at Nicholson, Pa. 2,375 feet long. 240 feet high.
Construction work was started on this bridge May, 1912, by Flickwir & Bush Contractors. The first concrete was placed in January, 1913. An average force of 210 workmen has been constantly employed. This immense structure, the largest reinforced concrete bridge in the world, will be finished in August 1915.
One hundred and eighty-nine thousand barrels of Cement will be used in mixing the concrete and would require one thousand and ninety-three cars to haul it from the cement company's plant, and would make a train about fourteen miles long. The building of this structure of concrete, reinforced with steel will, for all time, stop adverse criticism of the durability of concrete.

Center tower supporting cables of the "sky railroad." All construction material and the employees are elevated at this point and carried along cable to destination. This tower is 300 feet hight. Arch over Main Street, Nicholson, Pa. Some idea of the immensity of this bridge may be gained by comparing the heighth of the two story house with the top of the structure.
1. Cross X shows location of telephone "central." 3. Employees elevator. The car will hold 20 men. 2. "Central." The operator controls 100 horse power. 4. "Clam shell" bucket moving crushed stone. 1. Last pier under construction. About 20 feet of pier finished March 11, 1915. 92 feet below surface this mass of concrete rests on solid bed rock. 2. "Clam shell" bucket filling in excavation around the unfinished pier. A mass of frozen quicksand is shown in the jaws of the bucket. 3. Mr. W. C. Ritner, Superintendent of Construction. The little army under Mr. Ritner's supervision is erecting a monument to twentieth century progress as enduring as the Pyramids of Egypt. 4. The two extremes of bridge construction. A forcible illustration of the meaning of the words "temporary" and "permanent."
1. Reinforcing steel store house. 2. One of the temporary homes of Italian workmen.
3. Office of Flickwir & Bush, Contractors. 4. One of 15 hoisting engines employed on the work.

The text and images on this page may by saved for personal research, but may not be published in any form, including copied to another web site, without specific permission. All scans copyrighted by Susan Carter White Pieroth 2007.
1915 Article in Popular Mechanics
1915 Article in Railway Review

Construction Photographs
Postcards

Susan Carter White Pieroth 2007
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