The County of Bucks Commissioners recently approved more than $2.5 million in repair and maintenance work for the county-owned covered bridges. The expenditures will be paid entirely from the proceeds of a $5.00 fee that Bucks County imposes on new and renewed vehicle registrations.
All seven county-owned covered bridges will be part of the repair project, which begins in October 2019 and is expected to continue for about 15 months. They are:
- Frankenfield Covered Bridge on Cafferty Road, Tinicum Township
- Mood’s Covered Bridge on Blooming Glen Road, East Rockhill Township
- Van Sant Covered Bridge on Covered Bridge Road, Solebury Township
- Pine Valley Covered Bridge on Keeley Avenue, New Britain Borough
- Knechts Covered Bridge on Knecht Bridge Road, Springfield Township
- Cabin Run Covered Bridge on Covered Bridge Road, Plumstead Township
- Uhlerstown Covered Bridge on Uhlerstown Road, Tinicum Township
“It’s a project that will basically take all seven of these bridges and bring them up to very good, pristine shape, and will keep them all in that shape for many years to come,” said Kevin S. Spencer, the County of Bucks’ director of operations. Spencer added it will be the first major project in 10 years involving the covered bridges. Work at the bridges will take two to three months each, during which they will be closed and detours installed.
Though largely constructed of wood, many of the bridges now have structural steel beneath them to hold them in place. That steel needs to be stripped of old paint and re-painted, Spencer said, along with fireproofing the interior and exterior wood surfaces, replacing some cedar facing and siding boards, and other maintenance.
Three of the bridges will have cedar-shingle roofs replaced, with the new roofs then treated with fire retardant, as fires have destroyed covered bridges in past years. Others have been damaged by vehicles striking them, often by trucks too large for the posted height limits.