Preservation of the Historic Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Memorial Bridge

September 16, 2013

HARRISBURG, Penn. - Constructed in 1930 by act of the Pennsylvania State Legislature, the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Memorial Bridge, located adjacent to the Pennsylvania State Capitol Complex, was designed as a monument to the heroism of both Pennsylvanians specifically and Americans in general. 

The western approach features two 143’ pylons topped with carved war eagles weighing 300 tons each. Each of the seven ton arch keystones features carvings of military objects. Since 1988 the bridge has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The bridge itself spans about 1300 feet over Paxton Creek and several railroad lines, including the former Main Line of the Pennsylvania Railroad in Harrisburg. Twelve main arches are closed-spandrel reinforced concrete segmental arches and four are reinforced concrete slabs. In all the footprint of the bridge covers over two acres.

Over the years the bridge has undergone various degrees of rehabilitation; most recently in 1957. However, through in-depth inspections completed by CCJM from 2007 to 2011 it became clear that additional rehabilitation is urgently needed to preserve the significant investment in this historic structure.

The Pennsylvania Department of General Services recently selected CCJM to provide professional design services to minimize deterioration of the structure caused by storm water. The services include cleaning, inspection, and video recording of the existing condition of the bridge storm water collection system as well as sampling and testing of the fill material over the closed spandrel arch spans of the bridge. Upon concurrence of a scheme to repair and rehabilitate the bridge, CCJM will prepare construction documents for competitive bidding.