Bridge is NOT open
Boards were dry at time of accident.
Speed and uneven boards were the problem.
Very minor injuries.
(PennDOT apparently delivered big old pieces of concrete at some point today to keep people OFF the bridge.)
Someone else was kind enough to send me some photos today. Except for the one above I have cropped them in a little so people can see the damage that occurred with the accident over the weekend.
This particular photographer and I were discussing how someone would wedge their SUV in the middle of the bridge, and we came to the conclusion that there must’ve been some kind of speed involved, and quite possibly someone both unfamiliar with the road and driving on wooded covered bridge surfaces.
I know for example when we go over a covered bridge, we treat the wood surface with respect and go slowly. A lot of people don’t – they fly. You combine that with Saturday’s weather conditions where we had had our first freezing rain/sleet of the season and even though the road surfaces were too warm for anything to stick long-term, it could’ve very well made everything quite slick. Or at least the road leading to bridge.
I hope the people who were in the accident are OK – I don’t know who knows which ambulance company responded or if the people went to a hospital. I also hope that the people who were in the accident we’re not impaired in anyway because that will make this an even more expensive accident for them.
I am told PennDOT was out today. Thank you blog friend for the photos!
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 :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.