Built in 1916 as a one-lane, reinforced-concrete tied-arch structure carrying Auction Road over Big Chiques Creek in Penn and Rapho Townships, Auction Road Bridge was one of only four reinforced-concrete through-arch-style bridges remaining in the commonwealth eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places. However, the historically significant structure was no longer able to safely meet modern-day traffic demands. Lancaster County officials turned to RETTEW to design a replacement structure that was not only safe but also maintained the unique design of the original bridge and fit in with the area’s historic surroundings.
RETTEW designed the replacement structure as a context-sensitive bridge, mimicking the through-arches of the original 1916 structure and replicating its technical and aesthetic features. The 47-ton, 72-foot-long through-arches serve as the main structural members and most prominent feature of the new bridge. This project received four national and local awards for bridge design and safety improvement. In addition to being a wider two-lane structure and safe for modern-day traffic and truck loads, RETTEW’s context-sensitive design for Auction Road Bridge captures the historic features of the previous bridge and preserves Lancaster County’s cultural heritage.