The Rockville Bridge, Rockville, Pennsylvania

The Rockville Bridge crossing the Susquehanna River near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

The U.S. state of Pennsylvania is one of the oldest states in the nation.  It is a state rich in historic sites to include Independence Hall in Philadelphia where the Declaration of Independence was signed.  The capital of the state is the city of Harrisburg.  The city is not considered as one of the top tourist cities in spite of the fact that there are many great places to see here.  For those of you who are chocolate lovers, you may be familiar with the city’s most famous suburb, Hershey, which has been called ‘The Chocolate Capital of the World’, and chocolate is shipped around the world from this place.

The city is situated on the Susquehanna River, the longest unnavigable river in the nation.  As you visit the downtown area, you will notice the city’s many spectacular arch bridges.  Upriver from downtown is Fort Hunter Park, and it is here where you will find a special bridge.

The Rockville Bridge crosses the Susquehanna River north of downtown Harrisburg, and it was built at the site of two former bridges.  The original bridge was a wooden trestle, and the second was a steel truss bridge.  The Rockville Bridge that occupies the place today was the third bridge built at that location by the Pennsylvania Railroad in 1902.  It is still an active bridge today but under the ownership of the Norfolk Southern Railway and is also used by Amtrak.

What is special about the Rockville Bridge?

The bridge’s name comes from the suburb of Rockville on the east side of the river where Fort Hunter is located.  It is made with stones hence the name ‘Rock’ Ville, but the real name comes from the town.  The claim to fame of the Rockville Bridge is that it is the longest stone masonry arch railroad bridge in the world.  If you visit Fort Hunter Park, you can sit on the shore and get a great view of the bridge.  As you take a look, you will be amazed at stones in the arches as the mighty river flows through.  If you are fortunate enough, the Norfolk Southern Railway and Amtrak may reward your experience by crossing the bridge.

The Rockville Bridge is five miles (eight kilometers) north of downtown Harrisburg.  It is accessible from the west side of the river by way of U.S. Route 11 north of Interstate 81 and from the west side of the river by way of U.S. Routes 15, 22, and 322 north of Interstate 81.  (Please do not trespass on private property.)  The Rockville Bridge is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is registered at a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark.

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