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pomeroy - academia bridge restoration
Pomeroy/Academia Covered Bridge
The Juniata County Historical Society, Mifflintown, PA announced on March 27, 2008, that the restoration project for the Pomeroy Academia Covered Bridge will begin on April 7, 2008. The project was awarded to J. Beitz Enterprises, who placed the lowest bid of $1,081,006.43. Beitz will complete the project by dismantling the bridge, replacing damaged sections and reassembling it.
The Pomeroy Academia Covered Bridge is a two-span timber Burr Truss, 278’ 9” long with a width of almost 18 feet. The design was based on the plans of Theodore Burr [1771-1822] who was the preeminent bridge architect and builder of his time. Burr developed an arch and truss design that was patented in 1804 that came to be known as the Burr truss. The Pomeroy Bridge was built in 1902 for $6,484, by James N. Groninger to replace an earlier bridge that was damaged by flood waters.
The Academia Bridge remained in the Pennsylvania Highway system until 1962. In the summer of that year a new bridge was under construction and the covered bridge was slated for demolition. The Juniata County Historical Society, at its July meeting, voted to assume responsibility for the bridge with the goal of having it restored. The contractor, not knowing of their plans, began at the end of August to take the bridge down. The Historical Society acted quickly, with the help of the County Commissioners, and was able to get the work stopped for two days, enough time for the Society to deliver a signed statement to the Commissioners declaring their intentions to assume responsibility for the covered bridge.
The Historical Society began its restoration project in 2001 when it hired the engineering firm of P. Joseph Lehman, Inc., Consulting Engineers of Hollidaysburg, PA to prepare a cost estimate and a comprehensive plan for the restoration of the Covered Bridge. They have also managed the application process for funding opportunities and will over see the restoration process for the Society.
Funding for the Historical Society’s restoration project began with a $70,000 Keystone Preservation Grant from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. The Society also received a $32,000 grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Economic and Community Development and a gift of $2000 from the Theodore Burr Covered Bridge Society of Pennsylvania. The Historical Society raised in excess of $60,000 from private donors and fund raising efforts and received a low interest Infrastructure Bank Loan through the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation to fund the remainder of the pre-construction costs of $209,000. The Society recently received a $48,000 grant from the Federal Highway Administration for the bridge project. The construction costs will be funded by Transportation Enhancement Funding received through SEDA-COG and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. The project is expected to be completed by the end of the year.
More updates coming soon!
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Juniata County Historical Society, all rights reserved.