After the sixth bridge spanning the connecting East Falls to West Fairmount Park collapsed in 1893, the city’s chief engineer and surveyor, George S. Webster designed a pin-connected Petit thru truss — a durable subdesign of the Pratt Truss — to hopefully span the Schuylkill for the last time. As you can see from Webster and James Windrim’s (more on his son, John coming soon) sketch, the bridge that was built was very different, especially the approaches. The Falls Bridge is anchored by two masonry piers and was constructed by the Filbert, Porter and Company who completed the span at a cost of $261,744.37 — $38,255.62 under budget! The bridge is 556′ in length and 40′ wide. Click here for a discussion on the wide world of trusses.
Special thanks to Rob Armstrong and Lane Fike for these images/info.