This is an extremely significant historic bridge. It was the largest cantilever span in the country when completed. The span between center of towers (bents) is 551 feet. It did not hold this record long however. The next record holder was the 660 foot Red Rock Cantilever Bridge carrying Atlantic and Pacific Railroad crossing of the Colorado River in Needles, California, built in 1889. This bridge however no longer exists. The Young's High Bridge is additionally significant as one of the oldest cantilever truss bridges in the United States. In fact, the only one known to be older than this one (and only by one year) is the Poughkeepsie Bridge which was built by the same bridge company and has several design similarities. The Kentucky River was home to an earlier cantilever truss bridge, the High Bridge, but it was replaced in 1911. In contrast, Young's High Bridge enjoys outstanding historic integrity. Given its significance as an unaltered record breaker, an example major engineering effort, and one of the oldest of its kind, this bridge has national significance. The extreme height of the bridge is listed as 258 feet. The total length of the cantilever structure including anchor arms is 998 feet.
The bridge was designed and built by the Union Bridge Company however the Union Bridge Company only manufactured the eyebars for the bridge. All other elements were fabricated by the Detroit Bridge and Iron Works. Baird Brothers was the erection contractor. Hopkins and Company was the substructure contractor. The Chief Engineer for the project worked for the Louisville Southern Railway and was John MacLeod. .
The bridge last carried train traffic in 1985 and the bridge was subsequently abandoned. The bridge is currently owned by Vertigo Bungee which plans to offer base jumping from the bridge. Whatever use the bridge currently has, the important thing is that it remains standing and retains its historic integrity.
This bridge is next to a historic highway truss bridge.
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