Closed three years, listed for replacement 14

PAUPACK TWP. - Wangum Falls Bridge opened to the public on June 24, 2016.
The one-lane steel truss bridge crosses the waterfalls on Middle Creek, on Wangum Road, Township Route 367. The dirt and gravel road connects Owego Turnpike and Hoadleys Road, about four miles north of Hawley, Pa.

 PAUPACK TWP. - Wangum Falls Bridge opened to the public on June 24, 2016.
     The one-lane steel truss bridge crosses the waterfalls on Middle Creek, on Wangum Road, Township Route 367. The dirt and gravel road connects Owego Turnpike and Hoadleys Road, about four miles north of Hawley.
  Steven Knash, Wayne County Engineer, said he was glad to see the project completed, after so many years.
       PennDOT chose a design to carefully match the historic appearance, after much concern was expressed by preservationists. The state had it listed for replacement since 2002. Normally the state would not build a steel truss, but rather install a modern concrete span.
    The former bridge was considered historic due to being an excellent example of a field riveted design, and the unique setting with a narrow rock cut on the east side where a historic gravity railroad passed.
   The new bridge trusses were not fastened with rivets, but was done with threaded bolts; Knash affirmed that the result looks very much the same.
     After an overweight truck partly fell through the old wooden deck in September 2013, the bridge was closed and the project was moved up the list.
   The design phase was not quite complete when the accident occurred. It was then let out for bid.
   The total cost of the project was $968,531, Knash said. Although the cost was driven up after the years passed and the work required for the studies and design, Knash stated that some cost was saved because there was no need to make a two land bridge. They also sought to avoid damage to the rock cuts as much as possible, which lowered the cost for excavation.
  U.S. Bridge Company made the new bridge components.  Leeward Construction Inc. had the bid to remove the old bridge and put in the new.
   Leeward had to bring in the bridge in four pieces, from the Hoadleys (western) side. The project was expected to be completed in October 2015 but there was some delay.
   Wangum Road was originally a part of the rail bed for the “heavy” track on the Pennsylvania Coal Company gravity railroad, used between 1850 and 1885 to bring coal to Hawley for shipment by canal boat or steam trains.
    This is the fourth bridge to span the falls; the former metal truss bridge was in place since 1944 and had deteriorated. It was considered historic due to its riveted construction, and the unique setting with a narrow rock cut on the east side. This bridge dated from the early 1900’s; it had been relocated from another part of Wayne County after the flood in May 1942 washed out an older bridge at Wangum.
    To further mitigate the loss of the former bridge, an interpretive panel has been installed nearby telling the history of the bridges that have crossed the scenic falls.
  The area around the bridge, including the rock gorge, remains private property.
   Knash said that he had received several positive comments about the new bridge from members of the Wangum Association, who have properties nearby.