East Rockhill, Pa., December13, 2006 - With PennDOT scheduled to begin restoration of Mood's Bridge in late March or Early April, the East Rockhill Township Board of Supervisors is considering closing part of Blooming Glen Road to two-way traffic when the bridge reopens.
The one-way traffic option is being considered by the Board of Supervisors because the bridge's single 11-foot lane cannot handle vehicles entering from opposite directions at once. It was voted on November 28 to hire a consultant firm to do a feasability study.
In June, 2004, six young residents set fire to the covered bridge. Because the span was rebuilt with steel beams in the 1990s making the bridge floor self-sustaining, no structural work was needed on the bridge, according to PennDOT.
The PennDOT project will restore the bridge to its previous appearance as a traditional rural covered bridge. However, because the bridge dimensions violate PennDOT code requirements, the project will raise the original clearance from 11 feet 2 Inches to 14 feet 6 inches height but the width will still be too narrow for two lanes. To allow PennDot to build a "sub-standard" bridge, the Town would have to take ownership of the bridge. The Board of Supervisors agreed to do so in 2004. The alternative would be a wider, open bridge.
The project will build what PennDOT describes as a "wooden façade of walls and a truss-framed roof in the old style." While the actual construction material has not been specified, it was emphasized that fire retardant would be applied. The completed structure will be painted red and white as was the original.