East Rockhill, Pa., January 17, 2007 - With the rebuilding of Mood's Covered Bridge scheduled to start this spring, the East Rockhill Township Board of Supervisors went on record that they want to see the project completed.
"This is the only chance we're ever going to have to get that bridge back. If it's not rebuilt now, we'll never get it back," Supervisor David Nyman said at the January 16 township meeting. He read a prepared statement:
"Following the arson of the bridge, viewed by the majority in the community as a 'tragedy' and following numerous widely attended public meetings, a majority of township residents supported the board's collaboration with PennDOT and Bucks County to reconstruct the Mood's Covered Bridge...Mood's Covered Bridge is a significant, recognizable scenic landmark by which East Rockhill Township has long been recognized...Additionally, this one-lane bridge has a traffic calming effect (park, bike path, etc.) and mandates driver patience and courtesy...The bridge will not be a financial burden to residents," the supervisors said in the statement.
"This board is 100 percent in favor of the reconstruction of that bridge. It will go forward," said Supervisors Chairman Gary Volovnick after the prepared statement by the supervisors responding to criticisms of the plans to rebuild the one-lane covered bridge.
The 126-foot bridge was built in 1873 using the Town Truss to span the East Branch of the Perkiomen Creek. After it was burned in 2004 by local college students, it was repaired and reopened, as an uncovered bridge using the self-supporting roadway that survived the fire.
That part of Blooming Glen Road between Giant Supermarket and Branch Road will be closed for 6 to 8 months for reconstruction of the bridge. A study is underway on the effects of having a portion of Blooming Glen Road changed to one-way when the bridge reopens; the rebuilt bridge will not be wide enough for two lanes of traffic.
Bucks County will take ownership of the bridge after PennDOT completes the project.
[Our thanks to Doris Taylor for providing the clippings on which this report is based - Ed.]