Tamaqua's bridge work is mostly rehabilitation
PENNDOT/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS Pictured is an artist's rendition of the bridge after its estimated completion in November 2014.
Many area residents are under the impression that the entire US209 West Broad Street Bridge in Tamaqua is being torn down.
That is incorrect. Only the sidewalks and sidewalk supports of the historic bridge will be demolished.
The main section of the bridge, which consists of three masonry arches, spandrel walls and stone retaining walls, is only being rehabilitated.
In addition, new concrete piers will extend out into the Little Schuylkill River from the bridge to support the new sidewalks.
This new design will allow the original design of the bridge to be seen. The original stone masonry arch was built in 1904 and was widened in 1933 to include concrete sidewalks.
The 100-foot-long bridge falls within the boundaries of, and is considered to be a contributing resource to two historic districts, the Tamaqua Historic District, which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places, and a local historic district.
The rehabilitation structure will maintain the existing out-to-out width of 58 feet, and provide for two traffic lanes, two parking lanes, and two concrete sidewalks. The new bridge will be 16 feet longer.