The new 35-foot long bridge replaces the previous bridge, which had been redone, according to officials, sometime between 1915 and 1930. Due to erosion around the bridge's abutments caused by the flow of the creek, the south branch of French Creek, the bridge had become unstable. Weight restrictions had been periodically placed on the bridge, the last one restricting weight to 28,000 pounds.
Weight restrictions will not be placed on the new bridge. According to Ed Pusey, project manager and engineer from CMC Engineering of Kimberton, extensive construction work was performed to anchor the new bridge. On the Warwick or north side of the bridge, a spread footing was dug down to a depth of 16 feet and filled with stone; on the East Nantmeal or south side of the bridge, the spread footing was dug down to 11 feet.
On top of both spread footings, another three-foot thick spread footing of class C concrete was poured. Topping off the structure is an 18-inch thick wall of class A concrete.
In his dedication remarks, Charles Jacob, chairman of the Warwick Township board of supervisors, acknowledged the
joint efforts of both Warwick and East Nantmeal in the project. "We've been working collectively since 1996 when we let out the contract to Oxford Engineering," he said. "We are pleased with the outcome of the bridge as it retains the character of the area."
Jacob specifically thanked Frank James, Sr. and his family, whose home and mill are just off the north end of the bridge, for their patience and understanding during the six-month construction process. Jim Jenkins, chairman of the East Nantmeal Board of Supervisors, also thanked the James family and Secretary Treasurer Joan Grimley of Warwick and Secretary-Treasurer Kathy Brumfield of East Nantmeal for their work in monitoring the progress of construction.
Jacob thanked Joan Grimley for the overall coordination of the project between the two townships and PennDOT.
Cost of the bridge was $426,000 for construction; engineering and environmental studies cost $221,179. The bridge was built as part of the 12-Year PennDOT Bridge Program. Under the program PennDOT assumed 80 percent of the total cost with the remaining 20 percent split equally between Warwick and East Nantmeal townships. Engineeringfirm for the project was Oxford Engineering of Downingtown. Construction firm for the project was Column Construction of Glenmoore.
Tom Boccuto of PennDOT was the project engineer during the design stage, Mario Palen of PennDOT was the federal aid municipal project coordinator, and Marshall Linton was the PennDOT engineer who approved the funding for the project.