The condition of a rural, Upper Bucks County bridge is so dire that it has drawn the attention of a U.S. senator.
On Thursday, Sen. Bob Casey called on federal agencies to work with state and local officials and community members to develop a plan to rebuild Headquarters Road Bridge in Tinicum while preserving the historical features of the span.
The Headquarters Road Bridge — also known as the Burnt Mill Bridge — is a 200-year-old bridge that spans Tinicum Creek, which is designated as a Federal Wild and Scenic River and Exceptional Value Waterway.
The bridge is also located in the heart of the Ridge Valley Rural Historic District, which is on the National Register of Historic Places.
“Headquarters Road Bridge has a long history in Tinicum Township and it’s important that history be preserved,” said Sen. Casey, in a written statement.
PennDOT is currently evaluating the bridge. Casey’s letter urged the National Park Service and the Federal Highway Administration to work with the appropriate stakeholders to ensure that all of the applicable National Register program parameters are taken into consideration as the rehabilitation of Headquarters Road Bridge moves forward.
There are two bridges on Headquarters Road with the same name.
Last year, Headquarters Road Bridge, near Cafferty Road, reopened to traffic after the old bridge was removed and replaced with a modern, concrete bridge with stone veneer to provide a natural stone appearance.
The structurally deficient Headquarters Road Bridge at Sheephole Road – the subject of Casey’s letter – has remained closed to traffic indefinitely. PennDOT has proposed replacing the historic, one-lane bridge with a new two-lane bridge.
Tinicum is home to about 25 bridges.