One of America’s most-important covered bridges is getting closer to a long-needed restoration.
The Save The South Perkasie Covered Bridge project announced on Tuesday it has nearly $80,000 in cash and pledges, nearing a March 1 fundraising goal of $100,000.
The bridge now leans to one side as it serves as a walking bridge and memorial in Perkasie’s Lenape Park. Repairs will straighten and stabilize America’s seventh-oldest covered bridge using historically correct methods.
“One of the nation’s leading covered bridge experts and our borough engineers have evaluated the South Perkasie covered bridge, and it has serious issues related to its age,” said Scott Bomboy, the chairman of Perkasie Borough Council’s historical committee.
The residents of Perkasie (pop.: 8,500) in Bucks County saved the 1832 South Perkasie Bridge from county demolition in 1958, and they must finance its upkeep.
More than 1,400 people have signed a verified online and Facebook petition since late December to “Save The Bridge.”
More than 55 percent of petition signers were from outside Bucks County, including former residents who found the petition online. “As a native Pennsylvania boy, the bridge and all it contains and stands for represents the values and the rich history of Pennsylvania,” wrote a Winters, Calif., resident.
The project’s current major donors include American Heritage Federal Credit Union, Penn Community Bank, Pennridge Development Enterprises, the Perkasie Historical Society, and the Perkasie Industrial Development Authority. Community sponsors include Covenant Bank, Dunkin’ Donuts, Free Will Brewing, McDonald’s, The Perk, the Perkasie Lions Club, the Pezzanite Family Charitable Trust and QNB.
The Save The South Perkasie Covered Bridge project is a joint effort of Perkasie Borough, the Perkasie Historical Society, and the Bucks County Covered Bridge Society. Through in-person and online outreach, the project raised most of its funds since early December 2019.
The project recently received a $15,000 challenge grant from Penn Community Bank. Project organizers expect their March 1 goal will be nearly funded if public donations match the challenge grant amount.
All project donations should be sent to the Perkasie Historical Society. Donation information is available at savethebridge.com/donate-now