This five panel truss bridge is an excellent example of a bridge built by a bridge builder that was locally prolific, but is uncommon outside of Chester County. Unlike a number of other examples in the county, this bridge lacks major alteration. Located right next to Valley Forge National Historic Park, which has trails and parking areas near to the bridge, this historic bridge contributes to the heritage experience of the park and if for no other reason, should be preserved because of this.
Information and Findings From Pennsylvania's Historic Bridge Inventory
Discussion of Bridge
The one-span, 65'-long, pin-connected, wrought-iron, pony truss bridge is supported on stone abutments. The bridge has built-up upper chords and verticals, and eye bar lower chords and diagonals. U-shaped hangers support built-up fishbelly floorbeams. The floorbeams extend outward beyond the truss lines to provide points to connect the angle outriggers. Three-high rail welded channel railings (ca. 1950) are placed to the inside of the truss lines. Flared stone wingwalls with parapets enclose the approach roadways. The bridge is among the oldest examples in the region of the pin-connected Pratt truss bridge design with standard details, such as all pin connections, all members composed of standard built-up shapes or eye bars, and U-shaped floorbeam hangers, that were common from the mid 1880s to the early 20th century. It was built by John Denithorne & Son, a leading fabricator of metal truss highway bridges in the county and region. Out- riggers added.
Discussion of Surrounding Area
The bridge carries a two lane road over a stream. It is located approximately 200' west of the boundary of Valley Forge National Historical Park (NR-listed 10/15/1966, revised 1988), as delineated by the map accompanying the 1988 revised historic district nomination. The setting, however, is clearly being used by the park with a trail along side of the creek, parking lot at the bridge's northwest quadrant, and interpretive markers. At the bridge's southwest quadrant is the Brookside Inn/Samuel Harvard Farm house (1763,1839, NR-listed 1974), which served as General Lafayette's quarters in 1777.
Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: Yes
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