another chester county covered bridge seriously damaged

I took the above photo in November of 2012. Late November, 2012 as a matter of fact.

That same day I also took this interior shot as we drove through:

Well as of the wee small hours of today (Sunday, November 20, 2016) yet another Chester County historical covered bridge is on the seriously injured and disabled list.  Check out the photos that the Eagle Service Center in Chester Springs Posted on their Facebook page :

Photo from Eagle Service Center Facebook page

Your eyes do not deceive you, that is an SUV wedged, yes wedged in the bridge.

Eagle Service Center said when they posted the accident photos (which are perfectly legal as the photos were taken on a public bridge on a public road):

This crash happened early this morning in the wooden bridge at French Creek Road and Hollow Road. The bridge was damaged during the crash and is currently closed.

An additional notice came out through a Chester County alert system today announcing:

The Covered Bridge on Hollow Rd between Pughtown and French Creek in West Vincent Twp. is closed due to damage from an accident.

Was this a slippery road or bridge surface that caused this, or was it reckless driving or a DUI?

How on earth does this happen?

This is the Sheeder-Hall or Hall Bridge and it is on the National Register of Historic Places!

According to Pennsylvania Covered Bridges:

According to county records, Chester County once had 85 covered bridges, 21 of which were shared with other counties. The earliest recorded covered bridge in Chester County was built in 1807 and the most recent in 1899. Only 15 covered bridges remain today, the oldest being the Hall’s Sheeder Bridge built in 1850. The covered bridge played an important part in the transportation system of the County throughout the 19 th century. Many of the bridges were built to serve local mills and the transportation of agricultural produce to market.

The bridge in Valley Forge just reopened. How long will this one be down? With a crash like this, there is undoubtedly severe structural damage possible, isn’t there?

Why are people so hard on our covered bridges?

I have been told by someone who looked at the bridge who saw it after accident and said it was dark, but they could I’d see there were a few new gouges in the Burr truss timbers. They were going to see what they could see in daylight – fingers crossed.

Burr truss is the design – the combination of arch and multiple “King posts” – originally designed by  Theodore Burr in around 1804  and  patented in 1817. The bridge also interestingly enough has steel beams, and no weight limit. The truss structure really only supports the walls and roof.  

But last time we went over this bridge I did notice that it had some deferred maintenance going on. I am not sure technically who owns the bridge. Is it PennDOT or Chester County. This is the oldest bridge in Chester County still in active use.

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