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Embreeville Bridge

Embreeville Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Elaine Deutsch

Bridge Documented: November 11, 2012

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Embreeville Road (PA-162) Over West Branch Brandywine Creek
Rural: Chester County, Pennsylvania: United States
Structure Type
Concrete Open Spandrel Deck Arch, Fixed and Approach Spans: Concrete Closed Spandrel Deck Arch, Fixed
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1923 By Builder/Contractor: Dunleavy Brothers of Coatesville, Pennsylvania and Engineer/Design: Harry K. Ellis

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Main Span Length
75 Feet (23 Meters)
Structure Length
220 Feet (67 Meters)
Roadway Width
22 Feet (6.71 Meters)
1 Main Span(s)
NBI Number

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)
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Bridge Documentation

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

This bridge laid out in an unusual manner. It contains two larger open spandrel concrete arch spans, but there is also a smaller closed spandrel arch span. Open spandrel spans and closed spandrel span are separated by a section that is composed simply of concrete retaining walls with earth fill. According to the historic bridge inventory, portions of this bridge had balustrade railings. These are not present on here so the railings would appear to have been altered or replaced.

Information and Findings From Pennsylvania's Historic Bridge Inventory

Discussion of Bridge

The 3 span, 220'-long bridge built in 1923 by the county consists of two, 75'-long, 2-ribbed, open spandrel arch spans over the main stream, a 50'-section of earth fill held by concrete retaining walls, and a 20' deck arch span over the mill race on the north bank of the creek. The bridge, located on an S-curve, has curved paneled parapets on the approaches and alternating balustrades and solid parapets on the bridge. The open spandrel arch spans have deep spalls on the fasciae and intrados of the ribs with exposed reinforcing bars, in some cases bent and dangling in mid-air. The bridge is a short and undistinguished example of its type and design with significant loss of original material due to spalling and deteriorated concrete. More distinguished examples built under the direction of the county engineer exist in Chester County (e.g. 15011303402798 and 15011303001047). The Embreeville HD boundaries were drawn to exclude the bridge's main spans and the bridge postdates the 1700-1899 period of significance. It is not historically associated with the district's themes of 19th-century rural industry and commerce. Thus, the bridge is a noncontributing resource.

Discussion of Surrounding Area

The bridge carries a 2 lane road over a stream and mill race in the small rural village of Embreeville. The village is a listed National Register historic district noteworthy for its 19thcentury residences and mill complex. The district extends to both sides of the stream, and the southwest side of the bridge was used as one of the district boundaries (see map). Thus, the bridge's north approach span over the mill race is within the district, and the two main spans are contiguous to the district. The bridge was not rated in the nomination. The grist mill is located downstream, approximately 400' northeast of the bridge. No buildings are immediately adjacent to the bridge.

Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: No


Photo Galleries and Videos: Embreeville Bridge

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