Arsenal Road evolved from a Crooked Road that had an Iron Bridge that Shivered and Shaked
These 2013, 1941, 1937 and 1915 aerial views and maps show the western section of what is now Arsenal Road north of York. I’ve noted the original path of this section of road as the crooked dotted yellow line on the present 2013 aerial photo.
A light red line is printed on the 1941 Pennsylvania Highway Map of York County. Plans were likely in the works to straighten the road at that time; however this roadwork was delayed until following WWII.
In 1948, the road was straightened. The iron bridge that shivered and shaked was replaced. The new road was known as the Naval Ordnance Plant Road, or simply NOP Road.
Here are some posts related to Arsenal Road and Whiteford Road; primarily looking eastward from the Codorus Creek Bridge:
- Codorus Creek Bridge was known as Shiverin Liz
- Buried Treasure in Springettsbury Township
- A Road Named N.O.P., Arsenal and Whiteford; Part 1 – Avalong
- A Road Named N.O.P., Arsenal and Whiteford; Part 2 – Bofors at York Safe & Lock Co.
- Neat Comment to Eliot Ness cracks the York Safe & Lock Company
- A Road Named N.O.P., Arsenal and Whiteford; Part 3 – Naval Ordnance Plant, NOP Road Ads
- A Road Named N.O.P., Arsenal and Whiteford; Part 4 – New 1948 N O P Route Cuts Traffic Hazards
- A Road Named N.O.P., Arsenal and Whiteford; Part 5 – Housing Development on 1930 Map containing a Whiteford Street
- A Road Named N.O.P., Arsenal and Whiteford; Part 6 – 1945 Map with Straightened Whiteford Road & When was Whiteford Road known as WINEKA Road?
- Dauber’s Nurseries tied to Susquehanna Trail and Arsenal Road
Continue reading for more details about the history of the western section of what is now Arsenal Road north of York.
The following is a zoomed-in view of the September 18, 1937 aerial photo from Penn Pilot. It shows the North George Street area north of North York. I’ve added the road names.
The 1915 Highway Map, at the beginning of this post, shows that the main east-west intersection crossing North George Street was originally at 11th Avenue. The Susquehanna Trail veered off to the northwest from this intersection and 11th Avenue headed east. It is interesting to note that the original crooked section of Whiteford Road, east of North Sherman Street, still is 11th Avenue. Within the 1915 map, the line with the dots on the west side of North George Street is the trolley line.
At some point prior to 1937, the Susquehanna Trail intersection with North George Street is moved north a short distance, as can be seen in this zoomed-in view of the September 18, 1937 aerial photo. Around this intersection one can see the large plant nursery that existed on both sides of North George Street. The original entrance to the Susquehanna Trail was renamed as the continuum of 11th Avenue.
An article in the August 15th 1948 issue of the Sunday News, York, PA Edition contained the headline: “New N O P Route Cuts Traffic Hazards.” The wrought-iron bridge over the Codorus Creek, built in 1884, was wide enough for horses and wagons to pass. Enter the automobile; as auto weights increased the span could only be classed safely as a one-way bridge. With only one car allowed on the bridge at a time, can you imagine the traffic tie-ups we’d have today in that area of Route 30?
The August 15th 1948 issue of the Sunday News, York, PA Edition noted the following about the imposed weight limit:
This didn’t bother anyone too much until the present Naval Ordnance Plant was built. What was once a quiet little country road became a heavily-traveled highway. A one-way bridge on a heavily-traveled highway is bound to be a safety menace, particularly when the approaches are crooked. Although the bridge officially has an 8-ton limit, trucks twice that weight traveled over the structure. The bridge shivers and shakes like “Shiverin Liz”, but somehow, despite her age, she hasn’t fallen in the Codorus yet.
Both of the new 2-lane, concrete bridges and route were dubbed the New N O P Route by the newspaper article. The bridge over the Codorus Creek (Number 2 on photo) and bridge over the railroad tracks (Number 3 on photo) are located where Route 30 Arsenal Road now exists; they were widened from two-lane to four-lane in the late 1960s.
The 1948 bridges eliminated several traffic hazards. The bridge weight limits were no longer an issue; finally two-way traffic. The approaches to the bridge were now straight line. The at-grade road was eliminated at the railroad tracks; where vehicles previously had to wait long times by long shifting freight trains.
So how did NOP Road take on the Arsenal Road name? In the six parts of my series A Road Named N.O.P., Arsenal and Whiteford, I examine several possibilities; however I’m still not sure if the actual reason has surfaced. If anyone has a definitive explanation, please post a comment.Reading the Headlines: A Quick Index to All YorksPast Posts