In recent years there has been no shortage of bridge replacement projects along the Centre Bridge/New Hope stretch of the Canal, and another is set to begin this spring. The Phillips’ Mill Bridge will be replaced in 2018 with construction of the project access road scheduled to start in late April or May.
The turnaround point for our “Last Look” Walk will be the Phillips’ Mill Bridge, so that we can view the bridge structure that soon will be gone. The existing bridge isn’t particularly historic, but it is the last of the 1960’s era reconstructions. The local historic district that surrounds the bridge is very significant, and the consultant, who developed the new camelback-type design in concert with the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources engineers, has been mindful of consequences to the district resources.
Three completed Canal bridge projects will be on view during our 5.7-mile roundtrip walk between the Virginia Forrest Recreation Area and the Phillips’ Mill Bridge. The impressive Redfield Bridge, north of Centre Bridge, is considered to be the replacement that best captures the design of the original camelback bridges. The bulky Upper Limeport Bridge reconstruction, south of Centre Bridge, is much less successful, reflecting neither the look of the camelbacks nor the 1960’s style. Lessons were learned, and the Lower Limeport Bridge, which was replaced in 2017, illustrates the best aspects of the Redfield Bridge.
Bridges won’t be the only sights to see on the “Last Look” Walk. Stories, especially about the famous Pennsylvania Impressionist artists Edward Redfield and William Lathrop who lived in the area, abound. The lore of Hendrick Island is fascinating, and the Delaware River vistas along this stretch are particularly impressive, as are the homes.
Join us for an early spring walk through a lovely section of the Canal and learn about the structures, people and places that capture the waterway’s character – past and present.