Bellevue Avenue over Reading, Blue Mountain and Northern Railroad – SR 2016

12 December 2014 117July 14, 2016

MUHLENBERG TOWNSHIP, BERKS COUNTY, Pa. - Constructed between 1835 and 1848 by the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad Company (P&RC), the rail line extends 89.5 miles through the Schuylkill River valley between Philadelphia and Mount Carbon, Schuylkill County, by way of Reading, Pennsylvania.

The company’s principal objective was hauling coal from Pennsylvania’s southern anthracite fields, although passenger services were also available. It was originally designed as a single-track route, but expanded to a double-track route in 1844. The association of the resource with transportation and industrial history in the United States is significant in regards to its age and success as an early railroad.

IMG_0075The Reading Railroad period of significance was 1833 (when incorporated) to 1962 when the railroad lost its subsides and revenues from the Company’s post office and railway express contracts. The Bellevue Avenue Bridge, constructed in 1924, consists of concrete encased I-beam approach spans and a riveted thru-girder over the rails. CCJM is now in the early stages of an alternative analysis of the bridge because this structure is a contributing resource and possibly eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places. The structure will have a fatigue analysis as well as an analysis of  weight carrying capacity. When these studies are complete, the final determination will demonstrate the most cost effective and feasible plan.