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State grant will fund Perkasie covered bridge preservation

The Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission has awarded Perkasie Borough a $100,000 Keystone construction grant to preserve its historic 1832 covered bridge, the Borough announced jointly with the Perkasie Historical Society on Sept. 9.
The South Perkasie Covered Bridge was built in 1832 and it is the third-oldest covered bridge in Pennsylvania and the third-oldest Town Lattice bridge in America. In August 1958, the Perkasie Historical Society rescued the bridge from demolition and relocated the structure in a nearby park. Since then, it has become an icon in the Pennridge community.
The Perkasie Historical Society, in conjunction with the Bucks County Covered Bridge Society, had raised more than $100,000 in grassroots funds in the past year to support the Borough’s grant application.
“Our community saved one of our nation’s best-preserved covered bridges more than 60 years ago, and our community’s renewed support for the bridge will preserve it for generations to enjoy,” said Scott Bomboy, chair of Perkasie Borough’s Historical Committee. “The PHMC’s grant award reflects the love of our residents and local businesses for our covered bridge.”
“The Perkasie Historical Society is pleased and thankful for the Keystone grant to help preserve the historic 1832 South Perkasie Covered Bridge located in Lenape Park. We would like to thank all the local citizens and businesses for all of their donations that provided the support needed to obtain the grant,” said Lee Metzger, the society’s president.
“The bridge has become a symbol of Perkasie and a popular site for keepsake photos of wedding parties and other events. The society saved the bridge from demolition in 1958 and raised the funds to have it moved to its permanent location in Lenape Park where it was dedicated to the borough a year later.”
The Keystone grant program is highly competitive, with just 55% of applicants receiving grants. Applicants also must own properties eligible for or listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The grants are funded from the Keystone Recreation, Park and Conservation Fund, which is supported annually by a portion of the state realty transfer tax revenue.
Perkasie Borough plans to restore the bridge, which has structural issues, to its condition in 1958, and it also will add a guided visitor experience that includes information about Bucks County’s 11 other covered bridges. The Perkasie Historical Society and Bucks County Covered Bridge Society will partner with the borough on those projects.
A project timeline will be announced in the near future, said Bomboy, that includes the award of a contract to a historical bridge preservation firm after an advertised RFP process.