Transportation Improvements in Historic Berks County

September 1, 2013

BERKS COUNTY, Penn. - The County of Reading, like many municipalities, faces pressing challenges to sustain the aging transportation system under their jurisdiction. When addressing the 1928 Manatawny Bridge, a scour critical, structurally deficient and weight restricted structure, the County realized that the location in an environmentally and historically sensitive area complicated potential replacement options. In light of these challenges, they turned to CCJM largely because of our successful experience with similar challenging transportation projects.

The Manatawny bridge lies entirely within the Oley Township Historic District, one of the first historic districts to cover an entire township. Through the years since its nomination, local residents and organizations have established a variety of measures to ensure the preservation of Oley’s historic character. The bridge itself, built in 1928, is immediately adjacent to the noteworthy Fisher’s Mill ruins including a mill race that passes under the roadway. Significant coordination with the township and the Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission are anticipated likely resulting in a context-sensitive design to prevent an adverse visual effect to the Historic District. Because of the prevalence of archaeological sites near the project area, a Phase I Archaeological Survey may be required. Exceptional Value wetlands in the immediate project vicinity may also require careful design considerations to ensure adequate protection of the pristine riparian resources.

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