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Dreibelbis Station Covered Bridge: Before and After Rebuilding, Berks County

I will start by saying that the first time I saw the Dreibelbis Covered Bridge in Berks County, I was awe struck. It was easily my favorite covered bridge. It was huge and it still utilized its original structure, while also showing authentic weathering. The bridge looked like it had been there as long as it had, and the character looked great on it. Functionally though, the bridge needed to be redone so it could be utilized by ambulances and first responders for modern critical services within the region. So many times before, these bridges have just been torn out and replaced with a more modern span to achieve these ends. One of my favorite methods to achieve these ends is when a modern bridge crossing is built somewhere in the vicinity of the original covered bridge and the bridge itself gets converted into a pedestrian span. Instead of doing this, the community opted to create steel span and then rebuild the original structure on top of the new steel span and fully rehabilitate the bridge to look as if it were brand new. The end result looks fantastic. Part of me wishes they were able to preserve the original weight bearing structure, but aesthetically, it is very difficult to tell the difference for someone who is not a covered bridge nerd like myself. 
The method of reconstruction that they utilized ensures that the heritage of the old bridge will never be forgotten, and it also ensures that the covered bridge will likely last forever and be suitable for modern needs. 
And after....It just looks so fresh.
Before. I loved all of that weathered wood and the character it oozed.
Look at all of that fresh wood and beautiful stone pointing work. One cannot help but be impressed by meticulously beautiful work like this, especially with stone pointing. Stone and brick pointing like that is a difficult skill to master, with few people that can operate at that level. My feelings are mixed in that the classic construction of the bridge no longer remains, along with the aged character that it had before, but I am encouraged by the fact that the bridge will still be here for generations to come and that the span is now able to service the modern needs of the area it serves. Nothing lasts forever, but the work that they put in place with this rehabilitation will ensure that people will know this crossing as a covered bridge for many years to come. 
Ten minutes east of here, you can see a smaller version of this covered bridge with the Kutz Mill Covered Bridge. This stunning little covered bridge has an intact old mill along with it as well. This is beautiful countryside to drive around in and just soak in. Crystal Cave is also located within close vicinity. For more of a historic background on Dreibelbis Station Covered Bridge and statistical information, check out this previous article. This bridge has also made our list of our absolute favorite covered bridges in the state

1 comment :

  1. A true gem with charm and character. A worthwhile visit indeed!


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