Still Standing. The Kinzua Bridge, near Kane, Pennsylvania, was the highest bridge in the world when it was first built in 1882. Its remnants today serve as a memorial of a time when the U.S. was going through the Industrial Revolution. Rust and a tornado on July 21, 2003 destroyed most of it and bridge debris litters the forest floor. After the Kinzua Dam it had been the most popular tourist destination in the Allegheny National Recreation Area. It still draws quite a few people, especially in the Fall. Click on the photo to see what the wilderness looked like to early settlers in the winter time. Want to build a bridge here? Visit the Save the Kinzua Bridge website. Or see a last photo of the intact bridge.
Built seven years before the Eiffel Tower ushered in the age of skyscrapers, at 301 feet in height (about 10 stories) it was an architectural wonder inspired by the founder of Kane, Pennsylvania to which the railroad bridge brought industry and commerce. The bridge stood for 121 years and was undergoing restoration at the time of its collapse. Today, no one has figured out how to re-build the bridge economically, although even in its current state it remains an attraction. The image at right of its construction is a German lithograph from about 1885 which reads, in part, "The highest bridge in the world, the Kinzua Viaduct." It has been on the National Register of Historic Civil Engineering Landmarks since 1977.
UNDER CONSTRUCTION, 1882 "Die hoechste Bruecke der Welt, der Kinzua-Viaduct bei Alton in Pennsyvanien." (The highest bridge in the world, the Kinzua Viaduct near Alton in Pennsylvania)
click on a photo to see more views of Kinzua Bridge or watch a full-length documentary at this link.
Mount Jewett, I had the bridge in "my backyard" but never really spent a lot of time there. Now that it is all but gone, I wish I had spent more time enjoying the beautiful scenery off of it. If you are looking for a place to visit in western PA, check it out." Watch a full-length documentary on the Kinzua Bridge from PBS at this link.