Stand in awe at the base of the largest poured concrete bridge in the world, the Tunkhannock Viaduct, an incredible 2,375-foot long railroad bridge in the Endless Mountains lauded as “one of the true wonders of the world” upon its construction in 1915.
The Tunkhannock Viaduct (also known as the Tunkhannock Creek Viaduct or Nicholson Bridge)“was built by the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad (DL&W) in 1912 and was completed, dedicated, and ready for use on November 6, 1915. This massive reinforced concrete bridge celebrated its centennial in November 2015!
“The Nicholson Bridge is 2,375 feet long and 34 feet wide. It is 240 feet above stream level and 300 feet above bedrock. There are twelve arches with ten being 180 feet across and two being 100-foot arches, one at each end of the bridge that is totally buried in the landfill.
“In Theodore Dreiser’s 1916 travel biography, he called the bridge: ‘A thing colossal and impressive. Those arches! How really beautiful they were. How symmetrically planned! And the smaller arches above, how delicate and lightsomely graceful! It is odd to stand in the presence of so great a thing in the making and realize that you are looking at one of the true wonders of the world.’ Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, and former President Theodore Roosevelt were among the many people that came to view this one of a kind bridge.
“This remarkable construction and engineering feat of its time were listed on the National Register of Historic Places (#77001203) on April 11, 1977, due to its national architectural, engineering, and transportation significance. The nomination application that was submitted in August 1976 affirms the national significance of the viaduct: ‘The literal keystone in the early-twentieth-century modernization of a major railroad, Tunkhannock was put up at a time when a reinforced-concrete structure of such a size was considered venturesome, and before perfection of a number of now commonly accepted techniques in concrete construction.’“ Source: Nicholson Heritage Association