June of 2007 found me wandering around Berks County looking for their five existing covered bridges. As Fred J. Moll stated in his book Berks County Covered bridges, there were 45 bridges built between the years of 1834-1885, seven of these were railway bridges. If you are interested in detailed facts about all these bridges they can be found in Mr. Moll's book, and purchased at the Berks County Historical Society book store.
All the bridges I encountered were in very good condition, one had just been refurbished recently and that is Pleasantville. All but one bridge is open to vehicle traffic, this is Wertz's/ Red Bridge. Wertz's is located in Tulpehocken Creek Park, which is owned and maintained by Berks County. I must say as usual I got turned around on one or two country roads, but this also can be a blessing in disguise, this is when you must stop and ask for directions. I have had the pleasure of meeting some of the farming community of Berks County, what a wonderful people they are, from the farmer fixing his mailboxes to the farmer cutting grass along side the road, the owner of the Pine Nursery near Pleasantville, I found all your beautiful bridges and enjoyed my short meetings with each and everyone of you.
Thanks to all of you
Driebelbis Covered Bridge
(GPS N40 33.29 W75 52.77)
This bridge was built in 1869 and utilized the Burr Truss, it crosses Maiden Creek. This structure is open to all traffic. The length is172 ft. and the width is 16ft. The builder of this bridge is unknown and it is owned and maintained by Berks County. The location of the bridge is on Twp. Rt. 745 between Windsor and Balthaser Roads, Greenwich Twp. It is just east of State Route 143, approximately 1.5 miles south of Lenhartsville. Parking around the bridge is very difficult because of the steep banks along side the road. The farmer across from the bridge was kind enough to grant me permission to park in his driveway while I photographed the bridge. Like all the covered bridges in Berks County this bridge adorns the typical Dutch Hex sign.
Griesemers Covered Bridge
(GPS N40 21.77 W75 44.29)
This is the oldest covered bridge in Berks County, It was built in 1832 using the Burr truss. The structure crosses Manatawny Creek, the length is 124 ft. and the width is 14 ft. The builder is unknown and it is owned and maintained by Berks County. When I walked around this structure I found it to be in great condition and very well maintained both the bridge and the landscape around it. The bridge is located on Twp Rt. 579 just north of Spangsville in Oley Twp. it is open to vehicle traffic.
Kutz Covered Bridge
(GPS N40 32.02 W75 48.33)
This structure was built in 1854 and used the Burr truss, it crosses Sacony Creek. The bridge is open to all traffic. The length of the bridge is 93 ft. and the width is 16 ft. The builder of the bridge was Bitner and Ahrens and it is owned and maintained by Berks County. The location of this bridge is on Twp. Rt. 798, Kutz Mill Road, approximately 2 miles northwest of Kutztown in Greenwich Twp. The bridge has a very scenic landscape nestled in the rolling hills and farm land. The condition of the bridge is very good and beautifully taken care of
Pleasantville Covered Bridge
(GPS N40 22.73 W75 44.33)
This bridge was built in 1852 by David Renno, Jonathan Bitner using the Burr truss design. The structure crosses Little Manatawny Creek, the length is 128 ft. and the width is 16 ft. This bridge is open to vehicle traffic, it is owned and maintained by the state of Pennsylvania. The bridge has just been recently refurbished and is in excellent condition. It is located on Rt 1030. Covered Bridge Road south of Pleasantville, approximately 0.5 mile south of State Rt. 73 in Oley Twp.
Wertz Covered Bridge
(GPS N 40 22.163 W 75 58.876)
The bridge was built in 1867 by Amandas Knerr utilizing the Burr truss, it crosses Tulpehocken Creek. This structure is open to foot traffic only. The length is 204 ft. and the width is 15 ft. it uses only on Span. This is the longest single span covered bridge in Pennsylvania. Berks County owns and maintains the bridge. The location of the bridge is in a Recreation area, Tulpehocken Creek Valley Park, this is part of Berks County park system. It 0.5 mile southeast of the Road to Nowhere near the Reading airport, northwest of Reading, between Bern and Spring twps. Because of the location of this bridge it is guaranteed to be enjoyed for many years to come, as it should be. This has got to be a proud possession of Berks County and a must to see for any covered bridge