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County celebrates completion of covered bridge projects

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Bucks County and New Britain Borough officials and other friends of historic covered bridges, gathered Sept. 3, for a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Pine Valley Covered Bridge on Keeley Avenue in New Britain Borough.
 
County Commissioner Vice Chair Bob Harvie, Director of Operations Kevin Spencer and New Britain Borough Manager Samantha Bryant were among those present to help mark the completion of an 11-month, $2.5 million overhaul of Bucks County’s covered bridges.
 
Since the project was approved last September, all seven of the iconic bridges owned by the county have undergone repair and maintenance work that is expected to keep them in good shape for many years to come.
 
The Pine Valley bridge is the last to be completed in the project, which was finished well ahead of schedule.

Bucks County’s covered bridges, are among the county’s most familiar historical icons. The county commissioners this month approved more than $2.5 million in repair and maintenance work for the bridges. The expenditures will be paid entirely from the proceeds of a $5 fee that Bucks County imposes on new and renewed vehicle registrations.
 
The county-owned covered bridges include 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; and Uhlerstown Covered Bridge on Uhlerstown Road, Tinicum Township.
 
Three of the bridges 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.
 
The historic spans are among 114 bridges owned and maintained by the county. At one time more than 50 covered bridges were in use in Bucks County, but neglect, damage and replacement have claimed all but 12 of them, 10 of which can still carry vehicles.

Participants in the ribbon-cutting for the reopening of the Pine Valley Covered Bridge included, Samantha Bryant, New Britain Borough manager, partially hidden, third from right; Kevin Spencer, Bucks County general services manager; Steven Ascher, New Britain Borough Council member; David Holewinski, New Britain Borough mayor; Bruce Burkart, New Britain Borough historian; an unidentified participant; and Bob Harvie, Bucks County commissioner.

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