This bridge is one of a fair number of similar bridges in Chester County that are of unusual design. While not highly significant in terms of beauty or heritage value, they are unusual because they combine a traditional stone substructure with a cutting edge (for the period) reinforced concrete and steel superstructure. They appear to be confined to Chester County, having been designed by the county. The superstructure is a steel stringer bridge with a concrete deck. Stringers are encased in concrete using the jack-arch method, which was a method used briefly in the early 20th Century. The outside of the superstructure is also faced in concrete, which extends above the deck to hold the pipe railing system.
Information and Findings From Pennsylvania's Historic Bridge Inventory
Discussion of Bridge
The skewed, one-span, 33'-long, steel stringer bridge, built in 1916, has a concrete jack arch deck. It is finished with curb-mounted, two-high rail pipe railings. It is supported on stone abutments. Flared stone wingwalls with parapets enclose the approaches. Over 110 examples of steel stringer with concrete jack arch deck bridges have been identified statewide from 1905 to 1956, with approximately 50 dating to before 1916. They enjoyed a period of popularity during the mid 1910s in Chester County under the direction of County Engineer Nathan R. Rambo, who favored the design because of its simplicity, compactness, and economy. The county has 14 identified examples from 1913 to 1918, more than any other county in the state. Complete, prototypical examples from before 1915 are considered significant in the Chester County context, reflecting the local application of national thinking about bridge technology and design. This 1916 example is not historically or technologically distinguished by its setting or context.
Discussion of Surrounding Area
The bridge carries a 2 lane road over a stream in a setting with scattered mix of 19th and late-20th-century residences. A ca. 1800 stone residence is located approximately 200' north of the bridge. The other quadrants are wooded. Approximately 300' south on Pikeland Avenue is a late-20th-century residential subdivision. The setting does not have the cohesiveness of a potential historic district.
Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: No
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