Berks County to remove 19th century bridge near Leesport

County to remove 19th century bridge near Leesport

ONTELANUEE TWP., Pa. - A historic bridge in Ontelaunee Twp., Berks Co., is going to come down.

The Berks County commissioners on Thursday said they couldn't reach an agreement with the township about future ownership of Wiley's Bridge.

It's a Whipple truss bridge that was built in the 1830s.

Commissioner Kevin Barnhardt said he hopes pieces of the bridge can be preserved, but he said the bridge is no longer practical.

The county really, in my opinion, is not in a position to look at maybe a dozen bridges we have that we want to remove and say, 'OK, we're not going to remove it, but we're going to turn into a pedestrian walkway or a bridge walkway,'" said Barnhardt. "Problem is we still own the asset. We still have the ongoing cost, the maintenance, the repair."

The commissioners said PennDOT ordered the bridge closed about a year-and-a-half ago.

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