Roebling Aqueduct—Toll Bridge

The aqueduct was converted to a private toll bridge. The towpaths were sawn off; the wooden trunk walls dismantled. Photo: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division; Historic Engineering Record: HAER PA, 52 LACK,1-11

In 1898 the last boat moved over the waterway [of the Roebling Aqueduct] and the following year the physical plant of the system was liquidated.

Of the four suspension aqueducts that Roebling designed as part of the major enlargement operation, only the Delaware had any apparent adaptive usefulness. The spans over the Lackawaxen, Neversink, and Roundout were all simply abandoned and eventually demolished.

The Delaware Aqueduct was purchased privately and converted into a highway bridge. The tow paths were sawn off, a low railing was run along the downstream side of the trunk floor to provide a separated pedestrian walk, a toll house was built at the New York end, and some grading was done at each end for accommodation to the existing roads…

The first private owner was Charles Spruks, a Scranton lumber dealer, who specialized in the heavy timbers used as supports in the area’s coal mines. His principal timber lands being in Sullivan County, N.Y., he purchased the aqueduct primarily to afford a simple means of getting the logs across the Delaware to the railroad in Lackawaxen. The collection of tolls from common road traffic was actually a side line.—From Edward H. Huber, Scranton; Roebling Bridge, HAER No. PA-1, 52, LACK; page 7.

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2 Responses to Roebling Aqueduct—Toll Bridge

  1. Lauren at Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River says:

    Yes, there was a fire on the bridge in May 1933. The only photos of this event that the NPS is aware of were taken by Arthur Haupt.

    If you’d like more information about the fire or the Delaware Aqueduct (Roebling’s Bridge), please call 570-685-4871 ext. 3 to reach the Cultural Resources staff.

    We’d also love to see the photographs in your collection.

  2. Denise says:

    I have some photos of the bridge at Lackawaxen. Some are of a fire. I think it occurred in the 1930s, but I think there was another fire more recently in the ’70s.
    Do you have in information on this?

    Hello Denise. I don’t have any information on a fire at Lackawaxen. Perhaps a Halfway Brook reader does.

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