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Swamp Creek Road Bridge South

Swamp Creek Road Bridge South

Primary Photographer(s): Pennsylvania Department of Transportation

Bridge Documented: January 21, 2010

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Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Swamp Creek Road Over Unami Creek
Rural: Montgomery County, Pennsylvania: United States
Structure Type
Stone Segmental Deck Arch, Fixed
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1892 By Builder/Contractor: Thomas McAdams
Rehabilitation Date
Not Available or Not Applicable
Main Span Length
26.0 Feet (7.9 Meters)
Structure Length
100.0 Feet (30.5 Meters)
Roadway Width
15.4 Feet (4.69 Meters)
3 Main Span(s)
Inventory Number

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)
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Bridge Documentation

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

View the National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form For This Historic Bridge

This bridge is one of two attractive stone arches on this road. While the Historic Bridge Inventory appears to have at first evaluated the bridge as not historic, the Historic Bridge Inventory records finally show the bridge was listed historic in 1988. The two bridges are significant in their own right as historically intact multi-span examples of their type, but they are also noteworthy for being two historic bridges on a single relatively short stretch of roadway.

A. Calhoun was the engineer for this bridge and Thomas McAdams was the contractor.

As of 2010, while PennDOT's overall historic bridge preservation commitment, particularly with metal truss bridges, is perhaps the poorest in the entire country, some credit is deserved for their choosing to rehabilitate a number of beautiful historic stone arch bridges in eastern Pennsylvania. It is hoped that PennDOT will see the feasibility and value of preserving these stone arch bridges and extend the commitment to a larger pool of stone arch bridges, as well as other historic bridge types such as concrete arch bridges and metal truss bridges.

The Swamp Creek Road Bridges have been selected for preservation and rehabilitation by PennDOT. Transystems (owner of former company Lichtenstein, a firm with noted historic bridge rehabilitation experience) has been selected to design the rehabilitation projects. Credit is given to Transystems for the plans that the drawing on this page was adapted from, and the details of the rehabilitation as outlined by Transystems is shown below.

The Swamp Creek Road over Unami Creek stone arch is 3 spans and 100 feet long.  The scope of rehabilitation includes reconstruction of stone masonry parapets with reinforced concrete cores and full width moment slab, reconstruction of wingwalls, repointing as needed, and the resetting or arch ringstones.  In-stream work includes the placement of rip-rap around substructure units for scour protection and the installation of temporary arch-barrel supports.  Temporary stream diversion may be required. (Credit: Transystems)

Information and Findings From Pennsylvania's Historic Bridge Inventory

Discussion of Bridge

The 3 span, 100'-long stone closed spandrel arch bridge, built in 1892, has fieldstone-capped stone parapets. A portion of the spandrel wall has been rebuilt in kind, and concrete aprons protect some of the arch footings. The bridge was recently repointed. A large crack is visible on the upstream side of the intrados of the central span.

Discussion of Surrounding Area

The single lane bridge carries a 2 lane road over a stream in a sparsely developed, forested setting near a mill complex and Camp Sumney.

Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: No

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

Discussion of Bridge

This bridge is recommended for long-term preservation. The bridge ranks in the top third of all stone arch bridges under study in this plan. Structural problems, including cracks and loose stones in the superstructure and advanced scour in the substructure, are to be addressed by PennDOT, which should raise the condition code. The bridge is very narrow, but it handles its low volume of traffic adequately and little additional growth is anticipated in the area. The waterway is adequate. This National Register of Historic Places-listed bridge is located in a greenway, resulting in a very high cultural values code. The bridge has also received public support (two questionnaires, three emails, and one petition). The bridge has historic integrity.


The Marlborough, Swamp Creek Road Bridge is owned by PennDOT and is ranked 21st.
Condition Code = 48 - moderate
Transportation Code = 52 - moderate
Waterway Adequacy Code = 53 - moderate
Cost to Rehabilitate or Replace Code = 50 - moderate
Anticipated Development Code = 58 - high
Recreational, Historical, and Cultural Values Code = 62 - very high
Public Input Code = 60 - high

Recommendation: Recommended for long-term preservation.


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