Almost 25 years after the closure of the Old Betzwood Bridge , the long-awaited Betzwood Bicycle/Pedestrian Trail Project has taken a step closer to fruition.
J.D. Eckman Inc. has won the construction bid that was put out back in December 5th, 2013 and Notice to Proceed with construction was issued to the contractor on February 3rd, 2014. Construction is expected to begin within the next few months.
The new bridge, which will be named Sullivan's Bridge after Revolutionary War Major General John Sullivan, will be for bicycles and pedestrians only, and is currently on track to be completed by late spring 2016. In addition to the bicycle/pedestrian trail bridge, the project includes the replacement of the Trooper Road Bridge over the Schuykill River Trail and replacement of the superstructure of the bridge over the Norfolk Southern Railroad Line, as well as improving the roadway and trail approaches to each of the bridges.
Pedestrian and bicycle access between Betzwood and Valley Forge was interrupted in 1991 when the Old Betzwood Bridge, which was constructed in 1777, was closed due to structural issues. The new bridge will restore an important link in The Circuit, connecting the Schuykill River Trail to the Joseph Plumb Martin Trail and providing access from communities in Montgomery County to Valley Forge National Historic Park and the many offices of the Valley Forge-King of Prussia area.
See the attached file for a diagram of the bridge project.
Twenty years after the Bicycle Coalition staged a protest over the closure of the Betzwood Bridge, Montgomery County officials are putting together the final touches on the design of the $9 million dollar bicycle and pedestrian bridge. The County predicts that project will be put out to bid for construction in the Spring.
The bridge will provide a connection between the Schuylkill River Trail and Valley Forge. The bridge pathway will be 14 feet wide and will replace the narrow 4 - 5 foot wide boardwalk that was cleverly built over the railing of the adjacent Route 422 Bridge. People on foot or bicycle will enjoy a smoother and somewhat quieter trip between the Betzwood Picnic Area and the Valley Forge Visitors Center.