Granite Block Pavement Finished in Park, But Road Still Closed

VALLEY FORGE PA – Paving block rehabilitation work on Gulph Road inside the Valley Forge National Historical Park has been successfully completed, but a portion of the road will remain closed weekdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. until late July due to a utility construction project nearby, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation said.

Gulph Road drivers will be detoured over a portion of Route 23 during the temporary closure, between Inner Line Drive and Outer Line Drive within the park boundaries. It is being allowed under a PennDOT highway occupancy permit.

PennDOT collaborated with the park on restoring the roadway, which was built around 1921, following construction of the National Memorial Arch (above) in 1914. It worked with park officials on the $689,496 project to sustain the “historical infrastructure” while also providing a smooth riding surface, PennDOT District 6 Acting Executive Louis Belmonte said.

PennDOT general contractor Marino Corporation of Skippack Township restored approximately 180 linear feet of deteriorated granite block on Gulph Road in front of the arch. It included removing and reusing the existing granite block and curb to the greatest extent possible. Any damaged block and curb were replaced with new “in-kind” curb and granite block of the same dimension.

Marino also relied in part on “stored original materials retained by the National Park Service, such as curb, granite block, and bollards,” PennDOT reported.

The park service gave PennDOT access to the property for the project. Staff members in both organizations “worked closely” during the design phase, it said, to develop plans that met both their requirements. Public access to the arch was maintained during construction activities.

The project did not alter any characteristics of the monument that qualifies it as a National Historic Landmark within the national park, PennDOT added. All pavement restoration, it said, was constructed in accordance with The Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties.

Some pavement renovations also occurred during 1997.

Photo provided by the National Park Service