The department said Hummel's Bridge, which connects Greenwich and Richmond townships over Saucony Creek, was deemed unsafe for traffic but can't be destroyed because it was labeled "historically and technologically significant" by the department of transportation and the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, the Reading (Pa.) Eagle reported Tuesday.
Kris Thompson, architectural historian for PennDOT, said the department's program for the sale of historically significant bridges has helped other spans find new life on trails, college campus walkways and other locations where they wouldn't be under significant strain from carrying weight.
"The best case scenario is for them to continue a transportation use," Thompson said. "You're still maintaining the integrity -- the National Register [of Historic Places] integrity -- that makes it significant for its design and its engineering."
Greenwich Township Supervisor Harry Hoppes, who also serves as township road master, said the bridge was considered innovative in 1896 for featuring pony truss construction.
"In 1896, the design of it was way ahead of its time," Hoppes said. "But we're now in 2013 and it's like we have to do something different."