Colossus Bridge

Colossus Bridge
"The Upper Ferry Bridge" in an 1823 engraving.

The Colossus bridge (also known as Fairmount Bridge, Colossus of Fairmount or Upper Ferry Bridge and formally the Lancaster Schuylkill Bridge[1]) was a record setting timber bridge across the Schuylkill River near Philadelphia. It was built in 1812 by Louis Wernwag, and was considered his finest bridge design. It had a clear span of 340 feet (103.6 m) (contemporary US Record) and was the first long span bridge to use iron rods.[2]

The bridge was destroyed in 1838 by fire. The bridge was succeeded by Charles Ellet, Jr.'s wire suspension bridge and then the Callowhill Street truss bridge.[3] The modern bridge at this site is the Spring Garden Street Bridge.

The bridge was located near 39°57′50″N 75°11′00″W / 39.96389°N 75.1833333°W / 39.96389; -75.1833333Coordinates: 39°57′50″N 75°11′00″W / 39.96389°N 75.1833333°W / 39.96389; -75.1833333.


  1. ^ Griggs, Jr., F. E. (October 2004). "Colossus Bridge Designer Lewis Wernwag". STRUCTURE magazine: 34–36. Retrieved November 26, 2009. 
  2. ^ Ryall, M. J.; G. A. R. Parke, J. E. Harding (2000). The Manual of Bridge Engineering. Thomas Telford. pp. 15. ISBN 0727727745.,M1. Retrieved April 6, 2008. 
  3. ^ Tyrrell, Henry Grattan (1911). History of Bridge Engineering. Chicago: Published by the author. p. 135. Retrieved November 26, 2009. 

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