Historic Bridge in Tamaqua, PA Receives Award-Winning Makeover with the Help of Structural Precast Concrete

The SR 209 East Broad Street Bridge in Tamaqua, PA. The use of precast concrete in construction addressed the aesthetic and structural demands for the project while maintaining historical integrity.

We set out to develop a restoration design that would rehabilitate the stone masonry arches while replacing the sidewalks with a new system that complemented and honored the bridge’s historic arch core.

A major rehab project on a historic bridge in Tamaqua, PA relied on the use of structural precast concrete to solve structural deficiency issues while maintaining the historic design and integrity of the original structure. Northeast Precast was the precast partner for this project, which earned industry accolades from the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute (PCI). Northeast Precast is located in Cressona, PA and is a producer member of the Mid-Atlantic Precast Association (MAPA).


The charming, masonry arch bridge in Tamaqua was identified for the rehab project due mainly to the condition of the existing sidewalks. According to inspectors, the original stone masonry core was determined worthy of rehabilitation, but the retrofitted sidewalk structures were beyond repair. It was also determined that the original stone arch core was a contributing element to both national and local historic districts. This designation necessitated the involvement of consulting parties in the project design, including the local Historical and Architectural Review Commission (HARC), which oversaw the design concept and provided input.

Because of the bridge’s historical significance, the project team had to devise a way to replace the existing dilapidated sidewalk structures with a new system that was worthy of standing next to a thoroughly-restored stone masonry arch from the 1890s, shared Paul J. Rea, senior associate with Ammann & Whitney, the project engineer. For this reason, Rea and his team chose a precast concrete solution.

“The design flexibility provided by precast concrete allowed us to develop a system that was fully functional and simple to construct, yet aesthetically pleasing and complimentary to the historic stone masonry arch,” added Rea.


The structural system included…

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