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McDowell's Bridge

McDowell's Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Elaine Deutsch

Bridge Documented: Fabruary 16, 2009

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Newark Road (PA-896) Over East Branch Big Elk Creek
Rural: Chester County, Pennsylvania: United States
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1922 By Builder/Contractor: Unknown and Engineer/Design: Harry K. Ellis

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Not Available or Not Applicable
Main Span Length
54 Feet (16 Meters)
Structure Length
60 Feet (18 Meters)
Roadway Width
22.6 Feet (6.89 Meters)
1 Main Span(s)
NBI Number

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)

Bridge Documentation

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

This bridge is a small example of a concrete arch bridge. The structure is simple in appearance with no elaborate ornamentation. It does however retain good historic integrity.

Information and Findings From Pennsylvania's Historic Bridge Inventory

Discussion of Bridge

The 60'-long closed spandrel reinforced concrete elliptical arch is finished with plain concrete parapets. It is supported on concrete abutments with wingwalls. Reinforced concrete arches were in widespread use in the state by the 1910s, and this bridge built in 1922 for the county is a late example of a common bridge type. The state and county have many earlier, longer, and more architecturally distinguished examples of reinforced concrete arches. The contractor who built the bridge is undocumented in state inspections records, and it has no known significant historic associations. The bridge is not distinguished by its setting, technology, or context.

Discussion of Surrounding Area

The bridge carries a 2 lane road over a stream in a rural area with scattered 20th-century residences and active farms. The bridge is approximately 1/4 mile from Lincoln University. The setting does not appear to have historic district potential.

Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: No


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