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Lake Ontelaunee Bridge

West Shore Drive Bridge

Lake Ontelaunee Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth and Rick McOmber

Bridge Documented: May 30, 2010

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
West Shore Drive (PA-1003) Over Lake Ontelaunee
Rural: Berks County, Pennsylvania: United States
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1927 By Builder/Contractor: Unknown

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Not Available or Not Applicable
Main Span Length
115 Feet (35.1 Meters)
Structure Length
403 Feet (122.8 Meters)
Roadway Width
19.7 Feet (6 Meters)
3 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 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


Photo Galleries and Videos: Lake Ontelaunee Bridge

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Maps and Links: Lake Ontelaunee Bridge

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