This bridge is an attractive open spandrel concrete arch bridge. The top portion of the bridge: deck, and railing have all been replaced during a widening project. The vehicular railings are modern New Jersey Barriers and the sidewalk railings are common cyclone fence... not remotely similar to the original bridge and quite lacking in aesthetics and imagination. So, while the bridge today remains an attractive example of an open spandrel arch bridge, the only people who can enjoy the historic aspects of the bridge are those beside the bridge. To people crossing the bridge, there is nothing historic to see anymore and the bridge looks modern. Recommended future preservation work for this bridge would be to replace the New Jersey barriers with replicas of the original railings. If needed, the exact dimensions and reinforcing could be altered to ensure the railings meet safety standards. Such techniques have been employed successfully in preservation projects elsewhere in the country.
Information and Findings From Pennsylvania's Historic Bridge Inventory
Discussion of Bridge
The 3 span, 346' long, reinforced concrete open spandrel arch bridge has safety shape barriers at the curbs and chain link pedestrian fences at the edges of the bridge. The bridge was widened in ca. 1984 by construction of a wider concrete slab deck with cantilevered overhangs. The original concrete balustrades and pylons with luminaries were removed. The bridge has lost its historic integrity of design. Open spandrel arches were first introduced in Pennsylvania in the mid-1900s, and were popular, especially for prominent river crossings, by the 1910s. This bridge which was built in 1922 is not an early or technologically distinguished example of the open spandrel arch bridge type and design. Earlier, longer-span, and better preserved examples of the open spandrel bridge type have been identified in the county and region. The bridge is not significant for its setting or context.
Discussion of Surrounding Area
The bridge carries a 2 lane road with sidewalks over the Schuylkill River in Spring City, a community dominated by a mix of 19th to late-20th century residential and commercial development. The area does not appear to have historic district potential.
Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: No
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