A Pennsylvania historical marker has been re-installed at the Pennypack Creek Bridge. And this time, it’s protected from Frankford Avenue vehicle traffic.
The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission first installed a blue placard and signpost at the 316-year-old bridge last October following an application and fundraising campaign by local community leaders. The bridge carries Frankford Avenue over the creek just south of Ashburner Street and is considered the nation’s oldest roadway bridge in continuous use.
But shortly after midnight on March 30, a northbound motorist failed to negotiate a bend in the road, crossed into the southbound lane, mounted a curb and leveled the signpost. The motorist, who was driving on a suspended license at the time according to police, also smashed a section of the stone bridge. The damaged portion, a three-foot wall, was an extension of the original bridge and was built about two centuries later.
Within weeks of the crash, a city crew reassembled the displaced stones and reconstructed the damaged bridge wall. But it remained up to the statewide historical commission to repair and re-install the marker, which it did on Aug. 27. The workers relocated the placard and signpost so that it stands behind the newly rebuilt stone wall.
The motorist, a 48-year-old man, was not charged criminally in the crash, according to Philadelphia court records. Police initially said he was injured critically. His latest condition is not known. No other injuries were reported. ••