York Town Square

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College Avenue Bridge built to span four-lane highway to provide south access to York

The West College Avenue Bridge in York spans the Codorus Creek. It was finished in 1961 at a cost of $440,000. The Gazette and Daily calendar showed this photo and well as the image of a more scenic York County bridge below. Also of interest: The bridges of the Susquehanna River.

A caption under this photograph of the West College Avenue Bridge in York reveals a bit of forgotten or unknown information – at least by me.

The bridge was designed to permit modern highways to pass under it on both sides of Codorus Creek.

“A master thoroughfare plan has the second bay carrying a four-lane divided South spur into the city,” the caption said.


Was this the south side access later provided by the South George Street exit from Interstate 83?

Or was it a second roadway?

For years, people with big visions have put forth the idea of a road running across York’s south side in the mold of Richland Avenue to the west and Route 30 to the north.

At least, we now know why the College Avenue Bridge is built as it is.

It provides plenty of clearance for the main stem of York County’s rail trail to pass underneath.

Two other things about the bridge. This was the same span on which patrolman Henry C. Schaad was shot while riding in an armored car in 1969, a year after this photograph appeared in The Gazette and Daily’s calendar. That terrible event was part of the race riots of 1969.

The other point: The designs of the older bridges easily surpass the current ones – like College Avenue – in style and grandeur. Witness the Hall Farm span in northern York County below.

The Hall Farm Bridge in Monaghan Township spans Fisher Creek. Does anyone know if this concrete arch bridge, built in 1917, stands today? This photograph also appeared in the Gazette and Daily calendar in 1968.

See these images from those old G&D calendars:

– In York County, we are tough and rough on our landmarks.

– What stood for 142 years came down in hours.