Bridging Two Cities
Wyoming Valley Levee System
"It will save to the citizens tens of thousands of dollars that have heretofore been annually lost through interruption of communications by high water, and by removing provocation to profanity will make it much easier for sundry people to reach the pearly shore."
The Evening Leader, 3 September 1888
Newfangled urban transportation and the need to cross above the highest flood waters brought a bridge to this location in 1888. The clickety-clack of the electric streetcar whisking people across the river on rails soon outpaced the clopping horse and buggy on the old wooden Market Street Bridge, just downstream. Innovation and entrepreneurship went hand in hand. Seeking to expand his streetcar company, Wilkes-Barre traction magnate John B. Reynolds wanted a bridge strong enough to carry his tracks and trolleys. In 1888 he and other subscribers built the iron North Street Bridge, also known as the Pierce Street Bridge, and brought his trolleys to Kingston customers.
For the next 20 years, traffic ran alongside the trolley in two lanes, paying tolls to Reynolds' Wilkes-Barre & Kingston Bridge Company. The tolls stopped in 1908 when the county (and later the state) assumed control of the bridge. Around that time, people crossing the bridge viewed the majestic Luzerne County Courthouse rising in Wilkes-Barre's
Tropical Storm Agnes claimed the North Street Bridge in June 1972. Though the electric streetcar had become a relic from the past, cars and trucks depended on the crossing. A temporary structure opened in 1973 and four years later, the present concrete and steel deck bridge, renamed Veterans Memorial Bridge, was completed.
[Photo captions, from top to bottom, read]
• (inset) John B. Reynolds, Wilkes-Barre attorney, president of the insurance firm of Reynolds & Company, head of the Wilkes-Barre & West Side Railway Company and president of the Wilkes-Barre & Kingston Bridge Company, the corporation which financed the bridge.
• A Wilkes-Barre & West Side Railway Company trolley passing in front of Reynolds Wyoming Avenue home.
• Work progressing on the replacement bridge after Tropical Storm Agnes, 1973.
• View of the North Street Bridge from the Dorrance breaker, circa 1890. Note the covered Market Street Bridge in the background.
• The North Street Bridge with its four spans of thru trusses. [Illegible in photo] iron bridge between Wilkes-Barre and Kingston opened September 1888. Contractors; Joseph Handler of Wilkes-Barre [illegible in photo] and The King Iron Bridge Company of Cleveland, Ohio (superstructure).
Erected by Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor and Others.
Location. 41° 15.09′ N, 75° 53.223′ W. Marker is in Kingston, Pennsylvania, in Luzerne County. Marker is at the intersection of Market Street and the west approach to the Market Street Bridge, on the left when traveling east on Market Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Kingston PA 18704, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Trailing Along (here, next to this marker); What on Earth is a Levee? (here, next to this marker); War Memorial (a few steps from this marker); A Formal Promenade Across the River (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named What on Earth is a Levee? (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Trailing Along (within shouting distance of this marker); Wilkes-Barre (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); 109th Field Artillery Battalion Memorial (approx. ¼ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Kingston.
Also see . . .
1. Market Street Bridge, Spanning North Branch of Susquehanna River, Wilkes-Barre, Luzerne County, PA. (Submitted on May 6, 2018, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
2. Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor. (Submitted on May 6, 2018, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
Categories. • Bridges & Viaducts • Disasters • Man-Made Features •
Credits. This page was last revised on May 6, 2018. This page originally submitted on May 6, 2018, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 46 times since then. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on May 6, 2018, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.
Editor’s want-list for this marker. The missing words on the last photo caption • Can you help?