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Bergeys Mill Road Bridge

Bergeys Mill Road Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth and Rick McOmber

Bridge Documented: May 30, 2010

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Bergeys Mill Road Over East Branch Perkiomen Creek
Location
Rural: Montgomery County, Pennsylvania: United States
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1893 By Builder/Contractor: John Denithorne and Sons of Phoenixville, Pennsylvania

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
1985
Main Span Length
94 Feet (28.7 Meters)
Structure Length
196 Feet (59.7 Meters)
Roadway Width
15 Feet (4.57 Meters)
Spans
2 Main Span(s)
NBI Number
46704602100146

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)
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Bridge Documentation

This bridge's future is at risk!

Bridge Status: Slated for demolition and replacement, with county funds!

View Archived National Bridge Inventory Report - Has Additional Details and Evaluation

This bridge is a rare surviving example of a bridge built by John Denithorne & Sons, which was based out of Phoenixville, PA. At first glance the bridge appears traditionally composed, however the built-up beams on this bridge are actually very unusual and do not follow the standards of the period. For example, the vertical members at a distance appear to be back-to-back channels with v-lacing, however, they are actually composed of four angles with v-lacing on all four sides, which is uncommon especially for a bridge of this design. Also, toward the bottom of the verticals, there are a series of three battens for the bottom section of the vertical member, which is also unusual. It appears these bottom three battens may have been to guide original pole railings which are today missing, because there are empty holes in the middle of the inside end of each batten. Another unusual built-up beam detail is in the top chord, where instead of a repeating pattern of lattice under the top chord, there are single sets of lattice, essentially in a single X pattern, which are spaced apart from each other. This is an extremely unusual detail. The spacers place inside of the top chord between theses X's appear to be an alteration.

Finally, this bridge is noteworthy for its 15 degree skew. Skewed pin-connected truss bridges are uncommon.

The bridge has been altered, with the replacement of the riveted cover plate with welded plain steel being the most noteworthy, although the loss of original railings is unfortunate as well. Some bottom chord eyebars have been replaced as well. However these alterations have not disturbed the unusual and historically significant details described above, and so the bridge is still considered a significant structure.

Information and Findings From Pennsylvania's Historic Bridge Inventory

Discussion of Bridge

The 2 span, 196'-long, pin-connected Pratt thru truss bridge built in 1893 is supported on a stone substructure. It was fabricated by John Denithorne & Sons of Phoenixville, the details of the bridge, including the verticals, upper sway bracing, and portal bracing, reflect period thinking about truss members. Denithorne was successful marketing his bridges to Chester and Montgomery counties into the 20th century. The bridge has some alterations, but they do not adversely impact its significant details and overall integrity. It is historically and technologically significant because of its association with the Denithorne company and what that illustrates about metal truss bridges were built during the last quarter of the 19th century and for its technological significance.

Discussion of Surrounding Area

The single lane bridge carries a 2 lane road over a stream in a sparsely developed, forested setting. The bridge is adjacent to parkland and altered Bergey family properties, including a mill that was renovated into a dwelling and a renovated dwelling, adjacent to the bridge. The area does not have the integrity or cohesiveness to be a potential historic district.

Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: Yes

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Photo Galleries and Videos: Bergeys Mill Road Bridge

 
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Crossing The Bridge
Full Motion Video
Streaming video of the bridge. Also includes a higher quality downloadable video for greater clarity or offline viewing.

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Maps and Links: Bergeys Mill Road Bridge

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