Bridge work exposes 109 year old arches
ANDREW LEIBENGUTH/TIMES NEWS Removal of the sidewalks on both sides of the bridge has exposed it's original arches.
PennDOT subcontractors are well underway with the rehabilitation of Tamaqua's US209 West Broad Street Bridge.
Contractors have removed the sidewalks and sidewalk supports of the bridge, exposing three normally-hidden masonry arches, spandrel walls and stone retaining walls.
The original stone masonry bridge, built in 1904, was widened in 1933 to include concrete sidewalks.
The remainder of the work involves rehabilitation of the current structure, new roadway and new concrete piers that will extend out into the Little Schuylkill River to support the new sidewalks. This new design will allow the original arch design of the bridge to be visible.
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. Work is expected to be completed by November of next year or sooner.