Lancaster County cares deeply about the heritage of its covered bridges, which account for 10 percent of all of the covered bridges in the state and 1 percent of all existing covered bridges nationwide. The Siegrist’s Mill Covered Bridge sustained major damage during Tropical Storm Lee. The storm washed the bridge off its abutments, and it came to rest on the bank 100 feet downstream. Renowned as a treasured historic landmark, reconstruction of this bridge was greatly important to the County’s heritage. Built in 1885 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this rehabilitation project involved assessment of the entire bridge structure to determine which structural members we could reuse and design of new timber structural elements to replace those damaged in the storm. We also restored the bridge using materials, design, and construction methods consistent with the original bridge so motorists, bicyclists, pedestrians, and the Amish community could enjoy its continued use.
Mitigating future flooding concerns, prioritizing architectural details, and refurbishing as much of the original bridge as possible were some of the ways RETTEW brought value to this project. We obtained funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to raise the bridge to minimize future flood damage. To elicit full collaboration and attention to authentic detail, we also coordinated with multiple stakeholders including the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, bordering townships, and neighboring property owners. The successful reconstruction of Siegrist’s Mill Bridge safeguarded one of the County’s cherished covered bridges for tourism and travel for decades to come.