Cumberland County owns 28 bridges with the average age being nearly 80 years old.
The Sentinel in late August published a story on how a $5 fee on annual vehicle registrations would yield about $1.1 million in annual revenue for a bridge capital improvement program.
The story mentioned five bridges that will be preserved for their historic value. Last week Tour Through Time focused on Ramps Bridge in Hopewell Township because it is the oldest county-owned bridge and the only covered span in its original location.
This week’s Tour Through Time profiles the other four bridges using information from the book “Drive the Road and Bridge the Ford: Highway Bridges of Nineteenth Century Cumberland County” by Paul Gill, a local author and historian.
Eges Bridge in the village of Boiling Springs was built by Christian Watt at a cost of $2,997.50. The initial petition for a bridge near Ege’s Mill was filed in April 1851. A contract was awarded on April 20, 1853 followed by an inspection on Nov. 13, 1854. This stone bridge is about 172 feet long, 21 feet wide and 23 feet high.
Green Lane Farm Bridge is in Lower Allen Township at the former Studibakers ford. The metal truss span is not the original bridge. The first span was built in 1883-84 by Samuel Stouffer for $2,493. A May 1889 flood destroyed the original bridge prompting the county to award a $3,525 contract to Dean and Westbrook for the construction of a bridge about 133 feet long, 18 feet wide and almost 20 feet high.
Hertzler Bridge in Lower Frankford Township was built by the Pittsburgh Bridge Co. for $10,355. The petition for a bridge on this site dates from February 1895. The contract was awarded on Sept. 3, 1896, with a bridge inspection that Dec. 28. The bridge is about 219 feet long, 19 feet wide and 17 feet tall.
The Slate Hill Road Bridge in Lower Allen Township was built by Daniel Kauffman for $1,980. The petition for this bridge dates from November 1857 with a contract awarded on April 6, 1858 and a bridge inspection on Dec. 29, 1859. This stone bridge is about 175 feet long, 22 feet wide and 20 feet high.
Tour Through Time runs every Saturday in The Sentinel print edition. Reporter Joseph Cress will work with staff at the Cumberland County Historical Society each week to offer a look at Cumberland County through the years.
Send any questions or future ideas to Cress at email@example.com.