This bridge is a truly ancient structure with an 1858 construction date. Unfortunately, the years have not been kind to this bridge. The bridge has been seriously altered by the addition of concrete to the bridge. The concrete was not even added very tastefully, and the square-shaped sections of concrete have a very negative effect on this bridge. Worse, much of the parapet railing on one side is missing and has been replaced with ugly modern Armco style guardrail. The bridge also has deteriorated considerably and is now closed to traffic with deterioration on the bridge evident. Given these circumstances it probably isn't surprising that the bridge is slated for demolition and that the bridge was not even considered historic by the Historic Bridge Inventory. However, despite these alterations and deterioration, one must still question whether it is wise to cast aside a bridge that is as old as 1858 as not historic. Because the bridge isn't considered historic, nobody is obligated to preserve any part of the bridge. If the bridge were considered historic, and Section 106 took place, perhaps mitigation could be developed that would at least salvage the stone from the bridge and reuse it somehow, perhaps reincorporating it into a replacement bridge. However since the bridge isn't even considered historic, it is doubtful that this type of mitigation would take place.
The bridge was repaired and/or altered in 1916, 1932, and ca 1985.
Information and Findings From Pennsylvania's Stone Arch Bridge Management Plan
This bridge is not recommended for long-term preservation. It is one of the lowest ranked of the stone arch bridges under study in this plan, and it is on the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) for replacement. It ranks low or very low in five categories -- condition, transportation, waterway adequacy, rehabilitation cost, and values. Its low condition code results from advanced scour (including missing foundation stones) and cracks and loose stones in the superstructure; the bridge is posted for 13 tons. The bridgeâ€™s narrow width is not sufficient for current traffic, and the waterway opening is inadequate. For a stone arch bridge, an inadequate waterway is a difficult problem to fix. The primary structural component, the arch barrel, also defines the waterway opening. The bridge would have to be rebuilt to enlarge the waterway opening. The cost to rehabilitate the structureâ€™s historic fabric and form is high, because the parapets are not original and the spandrel walls and arch barrels have been gunited. The bridge is not listed in or eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places individually or as part of a historic district. Although there has been public support for this bridge (two questionnaires, one letter, one telephone call, and two petitions), the structural and traffic issues are too great to recommend the bridge for preservation.
Recommendation: Not recommended for long-term preservation.
The Franconia, Camp Road Bridge is owned by PennDOT
and is ranked 114th.
Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: No
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