Sheephole/Headquarters Road Bridge
The Delaware Riverkeeper Network is opposed to the destruction and replacement of the historic Headquarters Road Bridge (also known as Sheephole Bridge and Burnt Mill Bridge), a 200 year old historic structure. Experts have analyzed the bridge, the PADOT proposed replacement plans, and implications of both for the Exceptional Value Tinicum Creek. Based upon these expert analyses it is clear that replacement of the bridge:
- Will harm ecological and historic resources
- Will impact the health and quality of Tinicum Creek
- Will diminish quality of life in Tinicum Township and Bucks County, will adversely affect the ecotourism experience in the region
- Could undermine the Wild & Scenic designation of the Lower Delaware River and Tinicum Creek
- Is not necessary to serve the traffic needs of the community
- Will take longer and cost more than the rehabilitation of the existing structure
Despite our repeated efforts to convey this message to PADOT, they have continued to insist upon sticking to their predetermined course of action. In the process, PADOT is violating the mandates the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), and the Department of Transportation Act (DOTA). They have failed to adequately consider alternative options, consult the public, or consider the environmental and historic harm of their plans—as required by law. In addition, expert review of their claims has exposed PADOT’s misrepresentation of crash data in an effort to bolster their false safety claims.
Moreover, PennDOTs misrepresentation of facts in attempt to ensure their desired outcome of demolishing and rebuilding historic bridges in Bucks County is not unique to the Headquarters Road Bridge. Expert analysis demonstrates that both the Tettemer and Cafferty bridge projects were achieved through similar misrepresentations of data and avoidance of appropriate laws— at the detriment of the stream’s ecology and integrity, the town’s historic and cultural value, and safety conditions. These projects were not only unnecessary and damaging, but also expensive and hugely wasteful.
The DRN is working with Tinicum residents and relevant experts and agencies to hold PADOT accountable and ensure they comply with required regulations in order to ensure the best outcome for both Tinicum Creek and the community.