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Valley Way Road Bridge

Valley Way Road Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Elaine Deutsch

Bridge Documented: June 30, 1905

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Valley Way Road (TR-407) Over South Branch French Creek
Location
Rural: Chester County, Pennsylvania: United States
Structure Type
Stone Segmental Deck Arch, Fixed
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1913 By Builder/Contractor: P. J. McCormick and Son of West Chester, Pennsylvania and Engineer/Design: Nathan R. Rambo

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Not Available or Not Applicable
Main Span Length
25 Feet (7.62 Meters)
Structure Length
30.8 Feet (9.39 Meters)
Roadway Width
17.4 Feet (5.3 Meters)
Spans
1 Main Span(s)
NBI Number
15701504070246

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)

Bridge Documentation

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

This is a small but beautiful stone arch bridge that unlike many of Chester County's stone arch bridges is located somewhat out in the open where it is easier to see. The bridge is also a contributing resource for a historic district.

Information and Findings From Pennsylvania's Historic Bridge Inventory

Discussion of Bridge

The one-span, 31'-long, stone arch bridge, built in 1913, has dressed voussoirs and fieldstone spandrel walls and parapets. It is supported on stone abutments. U-shaped wingwalls with parapets enclose the approaches. The traditional stone arch bridge, while postdating the 18th- and 19th-century dates of construction of the furnace and majority of buildings associated with the farm complex, is in keeping with the undisturbed rural setting and conscious efforts during the 20th century of the Potts family and their heirs to maintain the 650-acre Warwick Furnace-Farm tract without signs of modern development. The bridge was not rated in the 1976 National Register nomination. It is evaluated a contributing resource.

Discussion of Surrounding Area

The bridge carries a 2 lane road over a stream in a rural area of active farms with cultivated fields to all quadrants. It is entirely inside the boundaries of the Warwick Furnace-Farms Complex, listed in the National Register (9/13/1976). The 18th- and 19th-century furnace ruins and manor buildings are located approximately 1/4-mile north of the bridge near the intersection of Valley Way and Warwick Furnace Road. The furnace, one of the first in Chester County, operated from ca. 1720-1867, and is historically significant in the early development of Pennsylvania's iron industry. After 1867, the site converted to a model scientific farm. In the 20th century, there has been an emphasis on maintaining the property's historic appearance with few visible modern buildings or developments.

Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: Yes

Information and Findings From Pennsylvania's Stone Arch Bridge Management Plan

Discussion of Bridge

This bridge is an excellent candidate for long-term preservation. It is highly ranked among all stone arch bridges under study in this plan. The bridge is rated high or very high in four of seven categories. This bridge has a high condition code and does not require any specific action. Its transportation code is also very high, a result of low traffic volumes and good sight distances at the approaches. It stands in an area of low development potential, and should be able to carry its traffic for some time into the future. Its waterway is adequate. The cost to rehabilitate is low because the bridge's historic fabric is largely intact. The bridge contributes to a National Register of Historic Places historic district (Warwick Furnace-Farm, listed in 1976) and is locally and regionally important. The bridge, however, has received limited public support (one letter).

Ratings

The Warwick, Valley Way Bridge is owned by Chester County and is ranked 15th.
Condition Code = 59 - high
Transportation Code = 66 - very high
Waterway Adequacy Code = 53 - moderate
Cost to Rehabilitate or Replace Code = 53 - moderate
Anticipated Development Code = 58 - high
Recreational, Historical, and Cultural Values Code = 57 - high
Public Input Code = 42 - low

Recommendation: A strong candidate for long-term preservation.

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