This three span reinforced concrete arch bridge is a beautiful structure that was built in 1928 to cross the newly created Ontelaunee Reservoir, and as such, the bridge is a contributing structure to the historic dam and reservoir system. From a construction standpoint, the bridge is noteworthy as an unaltered, attractive, multi-span example of arch bridge construction in Pennsylvania. The bridge retains excellent historic integrity, but structurally it has been allowed to deteriorate to the point where it has now been closed to traffic. The majority of deterioration appears to be associated with the deck and flooring system. The arches themselves appear to remain in good condition. The future of this bridge is uncertain. Given the number of such bridges being demolished in Pennsylvania, one would expect the bridge to be demolished. However it appears that rehabilitation may be possibly be considered for this bridge.
Information and Findings From Pennsylvania's Historic Bridge Inventory
Discussion of Bridge
The 3-span, 403' long ribbed, open spandrel arch bridge with plain spandrel columns has concrete piers and abutments. The open spandrels are finished with circular-headed panels except at the crown where the panels are blank. The bridge is finished with plain paneled parapets and articulated posts. It was built in 1927 by the Reading City Bureau of Water as part of the Ontelaunee Reservoir. The reservoir was determined eligible by PHMC in 1993 as the City of Reading Waterworks/Ontelaunee Reservoir.
Discussion of Surrounding Area
The bridge carries a 2 lane state highway over Ontelaunee Lake that is the Reading water supply. It is in a sparsely developed, forested setting.
Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: Yes
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