Work on a new Schlicher's Covered Bridge, a classic one-lane covered bridge in North Whitehall that has been closed for nearly three years, is expected to begin next year.
Sean Brown, a spokesman for the state Department of Transportation, said the project to replace the bridge is in final design. PennDOT expects to open bids for the project next year, with construction of the new bridge to start shortly after that.
Schlicher's Bridge, which crosses the Jordan Creek at Game Preserve Road, was closed in late 2009 because the timber floor beams had deteriorated. Brown said the deterioration was due to normal "wear and tear" of a wooden structure.
Built in 1882, the bridge is 110 feet long and 17 feet wide. Height restriction is 8 feet, 2 inches. Prior to its closure, the average daily traffic on the bridge was 652 vehicles.
Brown said the bridge will be replaced so that it can bear more weight (maximum load had been 3 tons) but its historic appearance will be replicated.
Schlicher's Covered Bridge is owned by the state.