The historic Slate Hill Road bridge, which connects Cumberland and York counties in Fairview Township, has reopened after an emergency rehabilitation project.
The newly rehabbed bridge, which was originally built for $1,700 between 1859 and 1860, is expected to last at least 50 years, with only routine maintenance needed. The cost was approximately $2.4 million.
C.S. Davidson, the York County bridge engineering firm which inspected the bridge, began design work for the restoration in 2018. Company workers observed continued structural deterioration during annual bridge inspections, the company said.
Although the bridge had several issues, the primary problems were settlement and water penetration, according to C.S. Davidson. The arches which provide strength had settled and twisted, which caused cracking and resulted in stones settling toward the stream.
Recognizing the historical significance of the antebellum bridge – especially its eligibility for the National Historic Register – C.S. Davidson engineers took several steps to preserve its integrity and appearance through the design and construction process, the company said.
Because of the historical value and environmental concerns, the project was a collaboration between C.S. Davidson and the Department of Environmental Protection and the Pennsylvania Historic Museum Commission.
“We’re grateful to our partners at the state and local municipalities for their input and teamwork throughout the project,” said Kerryn Fulton, C.S. Davidson CEO. “This bridge is a part of our local history and we’re glad we were able to preserve so much of the original structure.”