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Zettlemoyer's Bridge

Zettlemoyer's Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Elaine Deutsch

Bridge Documented: February 18, 2013

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Long Road (TR-787) Over Maiden Creek
Location
Rural: Berks County, Pennsylvania: United States
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1904 By Builder/Contractor: Unknown and Engineer/Design: Dreibelbis and Company

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
2020
Main Span Length
152 Feet (46.3 Meters)
Structure Length
154 Feet (46.9 Meters)
Roadway Width
17 Feet (5.18 Meters)
Spans
1 Main Span(s)
NBI Number
5369

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)
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Bridge Documentation

This bridge is an attractive pin-connected truss bridge. Bridges like this were once common, but thanks to demolition have become increasingly rare in Pennsylvania. Thus, statements that bridges like this are "not historic" by the Historic Bridge Inventory should be re-evaluated. Fortunately, for this bridge, it was reevaluated and found to be historic. And, rare for Pennsylvania, a full rehabilitation of this bridge was developed and completed in 2020, in the first rehabilitation of the bridge since 1958. In a special deal, Berks County agreed to rehabilitate the bridge, with the agreement that after rehab, ownership of the bridge would be turned over to Greenwich Township. As such, both the county and township deserve to be thanked for their roles in finding a preservation solution for this bridge.

The Historic Bridge Inventory describes the Dreibelbis and Company as the "fabricator" of the bridge, but based on review of other bridges associated with this firm (plus the fact that they are listed as "engineers" on the plaque), the company likely only designed bridges, and other firms fabricated and erected them. Thus the actual builder is unknown.

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

Above: Bridge before rehabilitation.

Above: Photo of bridge after rehabilitation. Click for enlargement. Photo Credit: McCormick Taylor, Inc.

Above: Photo of bridge after rehabilitation. Click for enlargement. Photo Credit: McCormick Taylor, Inc.

Above: Photo of bridge after rehabilitation. Click for enlargement. Photo Credit: McCormick Taylor, Inc.

Above: Photo of bridge after rehabilitation. Click for enlargement. Photo Credit: McCormick Taylor, Inc.

Above: Photo of bridge after rehabilitation. Click for enlargement. Photo Credit: McCormick Taylor, Inc.

Information and Findings From Pennsylvania's Historic Bridge Inventory

Discussion of Bridge

The 9-panel, 154'-long, pin-connected, Pratt thru truss bridge was built in 1904. It is supported on concrete abutments. The trusses are traditionally composed, and they have no innovative or distinctive details. Instead of the U-shaped hanger, rolled section floorbeams are connected to the pins by riveted pin plates at the ends of the floorbeams. The detail is not uncommon for the period, and it is not innovative or distinctive. It is one of two similar bridges by the fabricator in the county (06 7215 0761 9463 dates to 1905). The bridge is a later example of its type, and it is not historically or technologically significant.

Discussion of Surrounding Area

The bridge carries one lane of a 2 lane road over a stream in a sparsely developed, forested setting. It is immediately east of SR 143. There are seasonal cottages and modern cottages in the area, which does not have the consistency or cohesiveness to be a historic district.

Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: No

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Photo Galleries and Videos: Zettlemoyer's Bridge

 
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Maps and Links: Zettlemoyer's Bridge

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