Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Old-Ass Bridge of the Week-- November 23rd

Frankford Avenue Bridge (aka like 5 million other names)

Spanning Pennypack Creek at Frankford Avenue

"I am immortal, I have inside me blood of kings!!"

                          Old-Ass bridge? Sheeit, this is the oldest-ass bridge in America. It was built before the first Chestnut Street Bridge and is still rocking traffic 314 years later. That's pretty fucking amazing.  Show some fucking respect when crossing this thing.
                          Back in the 1680's, traveling to and from the city/village of Philadelphia from points North was a huge pain in the ass. Even after bridges were built over all the creeks other obstacles, you would still have to cross the Pennypack Creek by wading through it like an asshole. If it just rained or snowed, you were FUCKED. In 1683, William Penn himself went up to the English court and begged them to build a bridge over the creek thousands of miles away. 14 years later, the bridge was built... and soon became one of the immortals from Highlander.

Like this, but a bridge.
                       This bridge was not born in the village of Glen Finnen by the shores of Loch Shiel, but might as well have been. No other bridge in America has lasted this long, but somehow, some way, this pile of rocks has managed to outlive every other fucking bridge in America... and that's a lot of bridges. At least 60 in Philadelphia alone.
                     Now, I should be fair in saying that the bridge as it appears today or even 100 years ago is not how the bridge originally looked. This bridge has been altered and reconstructed so many times that only the 16-foot arches are somewhat original. It was widened/renovated in 1740, 1803, 1828, 1893, 1894, 1950, and 1997. It went from being 73 feet long and 16 feet wide to 154 feet long and 36 feet wide.

The 1893 alteration, the most drastic one, in progress.
                          Being on the King's Highway, this bridge was traveled by MANY famous motherfuckers throughout history. George Washington, one of the many, crossed this thing when it was only 92 years old. I would go through the entire list of historically famous people and events associated with this thing but that would make this article reach the goddamn DMZ at the Cardassian border.
                          Hundreds of cars and trucks roll over this 314-year-old bridge every day, not realizing the amazing ability for this ancient bridge to survive and stay in use despite countless floods and 80-year-long periods of neglect. Good job, bridge.

The bridge as it appeared in 1907.


  1. is this the one by Red Lion or the one by Asburner? The wiki coordinates take me to Red Lion but I would think it's Asburner.

  2. Since it's "Pennypack Creek at Frankford Avenue", I'd suspect it's wherever Frankford Avenue crosses the Pennypack Creek, wiki coordinates be damned.