Upper Makefield Advances Plan To Designate Taylorsville Section As Historic District

The township is worried about a possible replacement of the Washington Crossing Toll-Supported Bridge.

Vehicles cross the Washington Crossing Toll-Supported Bridge in January 2023. Credit: Tom Sofield/

Upper Makefield Township is moving forward toward their goal of designating the Taylorsville section as a historic district.

Last month, the township supervisors approved a proposal from historical and preservation expert Jeffrey Marshall, the former head of the nonprofit Heritage Conservancy. The supervisors stamp of approval allow him to proceed with efforts to determine if the Taylorsville section can be designated a historic district by the Pennsylvania State Historic Preservation Office.

Marshall is currently conducting the necessary research to see if the area around the Washington Crossing Toll-Supported Bridge meets the standards of the National Register of Historic Places.

The supervisors are looking to determine the historical significance of the structures around the bridge, which are by the nationally significant Washington Crossing Historic Park.

The moves come as the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission has approved an initial study for a potential rehabilitation or reconstruction of the 119-year-old Washington Crossing Toll-Supported Bridge.

The bridge connects the Washington Crossing section of Upper Makefield Township to Mercer County, New Jersey, over the Delaware River.

Some residents and township officials are concerned that the commission might replace the bridge with a larger, more modern span. Residents have worried about increased traffic and a loss of character in the historical area.

By obtaining historical designations for the area around the bridge, officials believe they have a better chance of preventing a large-scale overhaul of the bridge.

Opened to traffic on April 11, 1905, the Washington Crossing Bridge is known for its narrowness. The commission has noted that the bridge is the slimmest among its 18 vehicle spans, with a roadway width of just 15 feet and 7.5-foot-wide lanes. The limited size has led to minor accidents and is considered “operationally challenged” by the commission.

About the author

Tom Sofield

Tom Sofield has covered news in Bucks County for 12 years for both newspaper and online publications. Tom’s reporting has appeared locally, nationally, and internationally across several mediums. He is proud to report on news in the county where he lives and to have created a reliable publication that the community deserves.