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Roebling's Delaware Aqueduct

Pennsylvania to New York
Completed 1848

Claim to Fame: The Delaware Aqueduct was John A. Roebling’s earliest. Still-standing, this suspension bridge is perhaps the oldest existing cable suspension bridge in the world that retains its original principal elements. It was completely restored by the National Park Service in 1983.

Roebling's Delaware Aqueduct_Option 2
Courtesy Wikipedia/Derek Ramsey

The Delaware Aqueduct provided an important transportation link between the Pennsylvania's coalmines and New York's booming industrial marketplace. It is the earliest surviving work of John A. Roebling, who designed the Brooklyn Bridge  30 years later. The cable anchorage system first used on this project was also used on the Brooklyn Bridge. The aqueduct is patterned after Roebling's design of the Pennsylvania Canal over the Allegheny River, and is the oldest metal strand cable suspension bridge still standing in the U.S.

Built as a suspended aqueduct for barges to cross above the Delaware River, the structure was used for this purpose until 1898. The aqueduct was then dewatered and its oak- timber trough was converted to a highway toll bridge.

ResourcesHarlan D. Unrau, Historic Structure Report, Historic Data Section: The Deleware Aqueduct, United States. National Park Service. Denver Service Center, 1983.