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sheeder bridge in daylight (post weekend accident)


UPDATE 2 PM: A source tells me the following:

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.)

EARLIER:
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!

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.

the announcement: natural lands trust regarding saving bryn coed

Alessandra Manzotti photos courtesy of Natural Lands Trust

Alessandra Manzotti photos courtesy of Natural Lands Trust

Now that it has been announced, I can say that I have known for a few years that Natural Lands Trust was working on saving Bryn Coed.  I was asked to not say anything, so into the proverbial vault it went.  But I can’t say it is untrue that developers were sniffing around Bryn Coed’s 1500+ acres can I ?  After all, it is a magical piece of land that is almost mythical, isn’t it?

Here is the official press release:

One Step Closer to Preservation of Bryn Coed Farms

Media, Pa. – Natural Lands Trust announced today a major milestone in the non-profit land conservation organization’s effort to preserve 1,505 acres in northern Chester County known as Bryn Coed Farms.

 

On September 28, 2016, Natural Lands Trust and the current property owners, the Dietrich family, executed an Agreement of Sale for the property. Natural Lands Trust now has six months to conduct due diligence, including Phase II environmental testing.

 

The fate of the property has been the subject of much speculation over the years as development pressures have increased in the region. Located primarily in West Vincent Township, Chester County, with portions also in East and West Pikeland Townships, the property is one of the largest remaining undeveloped, unprotected tracts of land in the Greater Philadelphia region. Under current zoning, nearly 700 homes could be built on the property if it is not placed under protection.

 

Natural Lands Trust has been working with the Dietrichs for more than five years to conserve the land.

 

“It is too early to celebrate, but we are optimistic that much of this iconic property can be conserved,” said Molly Morrison, president of Natural Lands Trust. “It’s a complex deal with many moving parts, but Bryn Coed is certainly worth fighting to save. It’s a community and ecological treasure.”

 

If successful, the deal would result in a 400-plus-acre nature preserve with eight miles of hiking trails that will be owned and managed by Natural Lands Trust. The preserve will be open to visitors, free of charge, just like other nature preserves owned by the regional conservation group—including the 112-acre Binky Lee Preserve in nearby Chester Springs. In addition, West Vincent Township is considering Natural Lands Trust’s offer to establish a 72-acre municipal park on the property.

 

The remainder of the property would be divided into large conservation properties, preserved by conservation easements, and sold to private individuals.

 

“The amount of land that can be permanently protected as a Natural Lands Trust preserve is dependent on the amount of funding we can raise. The cost of preserving the entirety of such a vast and valuable property is beyond the currently available resources. We will be seeking support from the public in the weeks and months ahead,” Morrison added.

 

In 2003, the Dietrich brothers decided to divest themselves of the property. Various conservation and development options were explored but never came to a successful conclusion.

 

In recent years, several developers have been in negotiations with the Deitrichs, including Toll Brothers, which had proposed a 254-unit development on about one-quarter of the property.

 

Much of the property is actively farmed or in pasture. There are nearly 500 acres of mature woodlands on the property that are home to a myriad of songbirds and other wildlife. Generations of residents and visitors have enjoyed the pastoral views of Bryn Coed Farms.

 

The land also contains the headwaters to Pickering Creek, and is a high priority for source water protection. Bryn Coed Farms alone constitutes 17 percent of the remaining unprotected high-priority land in the Pickering Creek watershed.

 

Persons interested in receiving more information as the Bryn Coed Farms conservation effort progresses are invited to visit www.natlands.org/bryncoed and sign up for email updates. Those interested in learning more about the conservation properties that will be available for sale should contact Brian Sundermeir, Bryn Coed project manager, at 610-353-5587, ext. 237.

 

Natural Lands Trust is the region’s largest land conservation organization and is dedicated to protecting the forests, fields, streams, and wetlands that are essential to the sustainability of life in eastern Pennsylvania and southern New Jersey. Since its founding in 1953, Natural Lands Trust has preserved more than 100,000 acres, including 43 nature preserves totaling nearly 22,000 acres. Today, some 2.5 million people live within five miles of land under the organization’s protection. For more information, visit www.natlands.org.

 

Alessandra Manzotti photos courtesy of Natural Lands Trust

Alessandra Manzotti photos courtesy of Natural Lands Trust

So, this is not yet quite a done deal. There are three municipalities and a lot of due diligence and environmental testing.  From what I am reading, not all of the land will be conserved (it’s a little unclear) ,  but one can hope and no matter what this is a heck of a lot more than anyone expected.

As I understand it, The NLT-owned preserve will be a “big chunk ” of Bryn Coed.  The remainder will be large conservation lots with easements on them and trail easements as well. The size of the preserve can grow if Natural Lands Trust gets more money towards the project.

To David Robinson and his family who own Crebilly, why can’t you look at something like this? You can afford to.

Ok I just wanted to put this out there as some thought my post from the other evening was fabricated. I do my homework, and it doesn’t get much more official than the press release from Natural Lands Trust. And this is THEIR hard work and no one else’s (because I know some who will try to take credit, and well it is not theirs to take.)

BRAVO NLT!  This is why I am a member and big believer in the Natural Lands Trust, they  do not just talk the talk, they walk the walk.  (Brian O’Leary and the Chester County Planning Commission could learn something here, just saying.)

I am a member of Natural Lands Trust, and proudly so.  Please consider a membership. This is me asking incidentally, not them. Go out and enjoy the glorious weekend this weekend. This surely is an awesome way to start it!

Alessandra Manzotti photos courtesy of Natural Lands Trust

Alessandra Manzotti photos courtesy of Natural Lands Trust

too much development has negative consequences


This photo came to me from a friend with the following note:

People who are interested in all the new construction  in the Chester Springs area should be made to attempt a morning commute during the week versus cruising through on a Saturday or Sunday. 

I felt like I was in Manhattan this morning – cars well past Montgomery School on Route 113 trying to get through the intersection with Route 401, a couple miles worth of hideous, now everyday traffic.  

God bless those who have to get to work OUTSIDE of Chester Springs. And to think of the nearly 250 homes not yet occupied as part of Byers Station Phase 2 and roughly same number of Pulte homes going up near Ludwigs Corner???? 

This is insanity!!!

Perhaps worth a post. Biggest problem when the the massive amount of developing going on is the market for them- the buyers. They have no idea the poor quality of these homes along with what it is really like to get around these 2 lane roads. Uh!!!

And indeed, so worth a post!

Why this is so good to see come to life isn’t so people can be miserable in traffic, it’s instead so people can know what their future holds every time they see one of these plans proposed wherever it is they live.

When these plans are proposed in your municipalities, they are cute little Lego land box drawings on a big flat piece of paper. The drawings are shown with these buildings with nothing around them, so you can’t visualize the reality of these developments for the most part. You get stuck waiting for the developments to be built and then there’s nothing you can do.

And my favorite is the trick that even a curse out here where they talk about how people aren’t going to be using their cars, they will use special Jetson spaceships and public transportation. Everything is going to be “walkable”. Of course how they can say that with a straight face and parts of Chester County were you still have to drive miles to get to a grocery store cracks me up.

A lot of the  “highways”  out here are glorified country roads. They weren’t meant for this volume of humanity. Then you look at roads like 202 which are a nightmare even with improvements.

So anyway, just more food for thought. Especially if you were thinking about areas like over around Crebilly, and that’s not just because of the Toll Brothers proposed building on that land. It’s quite simply put: just adding all the plans up. 

What do you get if you add up all the developments large and small from one end of Chester county to the other? To me that prospect is frightening and very very sad. 

a new development photo that just makes you wonder…


I love my readers! They send me the best stuff! Kindly note this morning’s offering above. It came with the following message:

Walking through new Lennar Byers Station development (formerly Toll Bros) and thought you would be amused by this photo. Brand new home already visited by Belfor Restoration. Unclear as to what was being cleaned up but doesn’t give a good image!

No, no it doesn’t, does it? This is in West Vincent Township is it not?

Lennar is sort of new to this area I think.  Check out their Byers Station website. It shows you the best in Stepford wife living ever… If you like that sort of thing.

Lennar has been around since the 1950s and build in 19 states as per their website. I don’t know when they took over Byers Station.

Lennar is so disliked by some, there are entire websites devoted to hating them:

My Lennar Lemon 2.0

DEFECTS, DEFECTS, AND MORE DEFECTS  

IS THIS LENNAR’S IDEA OF QUALITY, VALUE, & INTEGRITY

AGAINST OUR BETTER JUDGEMENT 

WE CLOSED ESCROW ON A NEW LENNAR HOME  

——————–

We paid $659,000.00 for a house with an embarrassing 

amount of construction defects and shoddy construction.  

After years of litigation we are stuck with over

$100k in documented construction defects 

and a boarded up front door.  

     Lennar’s Realtor, did nothing to help. 

She was just gone, leaving us hanging. 

     Customer Care didn’t help us much either. The repairs that 

they made were even worse than the original defects…

From Dale Billy (President) to Stewart Miller (CEO) these issues/defects 

were brought to their attention and dismissed.  

Lennar litigated our case to the point where we personally 

received nothing for any of the documented construction defects.  

   All that Lennar gave us was a whole lot of 

unresolved defects, lip service, and huge legal costs, 

with “Zero” positive results. 

But please, Don’t take my word for it…

  Anyone is Welcome to come by and see exactly how Lennar delivered us this defective home  

Leaving us stuck with this Lennar Lemon?

Before You BUY, Please Come By and See Firsthand what

Lennar Considers “ZERO Defects”. You will not 

Believe Your Eyes…

The website makes me look mild in opinion about development.

But wait, there is more:

Lennar Reviews at Pissed Consumer

Thinking of Buying a Home from Lennar Homes

Consumer Affairs Lennar Complaints and Reviews

Homeowner blames builder for sinking house POSTED 6:51 PM, JUNE 17, 2015, BY ROB LOW, UPDATED AT 08:17AM, JUNE 18, 2015

FOX 13 Investigates: Homeowners say builder is sticking them with stucco problems