High Bridge (Coatesville, Pennsylvania) - Precursors


The first bridge at the site was built by the Philadelphia and Columbia Railroad in 1832. It was a single-track wood span on stone piers. The bridge was widened to double-track in 1854. This bridge was replaced by a cast iron bridge in 1867, and that in turn by a wrought iron Pratt truss in 1890. By around the start of the 20th century, however, the double-track bridge was proving to be a bottleneck in the quadruple-track main line on both sides, and plans were made for a bridge that would carry four tracks across the Brandywine Valley.

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