Kinzua Bridge

Kinzua Bridge (HM1ZBM)

Location: Kane, PA 16735 McKean County
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Country: United States of America
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N 41° 45.528', W 78° 35.17'

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The Life, Death and Renewal

An Engineering and Historical Marvel. The need to transport coal, oil and lumber across the Kinzua Valley inspired General Thomas Kane, president of the New York, Lake Erie and Western railroad and Coal Company, and Octave Chanute, chief engineer for the Erie Railroad, to design a colossal viaduct. Constructed by 125 men in a mere 24 days, the Kinzua Bridge was the tallest viaduct in the world when completed in 1882. Standing 301 feet tall (24 feet higher that the Brooklyn Bridge), the span was billed as the "Eighth Wonder of the World." From Timber to Tourists: The Many Lives of Kinzua Bridge. Kinzua Bridge was an instant sensation. Not only was it successful in transporting Kane's coal across the valley, but it became a popular tourist attraction. Train excursions crossing the bridge were the next best thing to flying! Around 1900, the original iron bridge was replaced with a steel structure to accommodate the modern heavier trains crossing the valley. Freight trains continued to roar across the span until 1959. In 1987, excursion trains were reintroduced and began running through the Allegheny National Forest and across the bridge, providing the thrill of riding the "Tracks Across the Sky." Wind vs. Steel: A Force of Nature. On July 21, 2003, the bridge was struck by
winds of up to 112 mph. Hundreds of trees were torn from their roots, and 11 of the bridge's 20 towers were tossed onto the valley floor. In 30 seconds, the power of nature brought the majestic span to its knees. Kinzua Bridge: The Renewal of an Icon. Today you can once again walk a portion of the "Tracks Across the Sky." Built on six of the bridge's towers that have been restored, the sky walk offers a unique glimpse into the bridge's history revealing the ingenuity, dedication and determination of its designers and builders. Follow General Kane's Trail and Nature's Power. This mile-long loop trail is named for General Thomas Leiper Kane - the visionary behind the Kinzua Bridge. During the Civil War, Kane assembled the famed Bucktail Regiment. He also supported slave rights and, later, the Latter-day Saint movement as it migrated westward. The trail, through hardwood forests of black cherry and chestnut trees, includes areas both ravaged and renewed by nature itself since the 2003 tornado. Difficulty level is moderate.
Placed ByAllegheny National Forests, Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resouces, Pennsylvania Wilds
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Sunday, July 2nd, 2017 at 9:02am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)17T E 700667 N 4625812
Decimal Degrees41.75880000, -78.58616667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 41° 45.528', W 78° 35.17'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds41° 45' 31.68" N, 78° 35' 10.2" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)814
Closest Postal AddressAt or near Unnamed Road, Kane PA 16735, US
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