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This bridge is the largest multi-span example of a bridge with a jack-arch deck in Chester County. The bridge appears to retain good historic integrity. Normally, the deck of a bridge is not a source of historic significance, but a jack-arch deck is an exception, since it was an unusual type of deck used in the early 20th Century. If they deteriorate beyond repair, jack-arch decks would be easy to replicate since they usually used a curved corrugated metal sheet (like half of a metal culvert) that spans between steel stringers and is filled with concrete on top. The design is very simply to replicate using materials available today. However, HistoricBridges.org is not aware of any efforts nationwide to preserve or replicate this early 20th Century deck type.
Information and Findings From Pennsylvania's Historic Bridge Inventory
Discussion of Bridge
The 3 span, 67'-long steel stringer bridge, built in 1914, has a concrete jack arch deck, pipe railings, and stone abutments and wingwalls with parapets. It is among the 21 earliest examples of the steel stringer bridge type and concrete jack arch design identified in the state, and one of the four earliest identified, prototypical examples from 1913-14 in Chester County, where it was popular with County Engineer Nathan R. Rambo during the mid 1910s. It is the longest, multiple span example in the county. More examples of steel stringer with concrete jack arch deck bridges have been identified in Chester County than any other county in the state. It has typical construction details of the early 20th century and reflects national thinking about bridge technology and design applied in the local context. By using a form liner of wood or corrugated sheet metal placed in an arch shape between the stringers, a concrete deck was poured so as to integrate the stringers with the deck. The jack arches create a strong deck and a stiff member with a minimum of reinforcing bars.
Discussion of Surrounding Area
The bridge carries a 2 lane road over a stream in an area of active mushroom farms on the outskirts of West Grove. The mushroom buildings at three of the bridge's four quadrants date from the late-20th-century. The setting does not have historic district potential.
Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: Yes
Coordinates (Latitude, Longitude):
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2021 National Bridge Inventory: View listed bridges within 0.5 miles (0.8 kilometers) of this bridge.
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