HistoricBridges.org Menu: HistoricBridges.org Menu:


We Recommend These Resources:
Bach Steel - Experts at historic truss bridge restoration.

HistoricBridges.org: Bridge Browser

Watkins Glen Iron Foot-Bridge

Watkins Glen Iron Foot-Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: May 28, 2007

View Photos
and Videos
View Maps
and Links

Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Watkins Glen State Park Trail Over Glen Creek
Location
Watkins Glen: Schuyler County, New York: United States
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1870 By Builder/Contractor: Unknown and Engineer/Design: John L. Foreman

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Not Available or Not Applicable
Main Span Length
90 Feet (27 Meters)
Structure Length
90 Feet (27 Meters)
Roadway Width
10.6 Feet (3.23 Meters)
Spans
1 Main Span(s)
NBI Number
Not Applicable

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)
View Information About HSR Ratings

Bridge Documentation

View Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) Documentation For This Bridge

HAER Drawings, PDF

This bridge is a cast and wrought iron bridge and as such is a member of an elite group of historic bridges that are among the most important in the country. One survey found around 70 such bridges in the country, and it is likely that today there are fewer than that remaining.

Fortunately, this bridge is in use as a pedestrian bridge in a park and as such its future is not threatened. It crosses Glen Creek and the deep valley it has cut through the park. As a result, this bridge has some serious clearance between deck and the creek below... it is quite a thrill to look down from on this bridge!

It is Watkins Glen State Park's own loss that they do not publicize the importance of this bridge. There is no interpretive plaque located near the bridge to describe how ancient this c. 1870 iron bridge is, nor how uncommon the bowstring truss design is. Many different companies designed their own bowstrings in the 1870s and each had its own distinctive style. This bridge is the only known remaining bridge with this particular design. The iron on the bridge was fabricated by the Phoenix Iron Company. However, none of this is presented to park visitors. Indeed, the park has instead fueled confusion by describing this bridge as a suspension bridge. The only place the bridge is mentioned in the park is on a sign detailing what the area looked like long ago. The sign mentions that "the suspension bridge in the center of this picture stands to this day." While it is possible that this bridge may have been known as "the Suspension Bridge" by locals of the time, the wording of the above sentence implies that the structure type is a suspension. One might have a good academic argument over whether a bowstring is more like an arch bridge or a truss bridge, but it is NOT a suspension bridge! If the bridge was historically called "The Suspension Bridge" it might be appropriate to continue to give the bridge this title, but any signage that discusses the bridge should more clearly outline that the structure is an c. 1870 iron bowstring bridge. Indeed, the bridge should be more prominently featured as a park attraction, since it is a nationally significant structure.


This bridge is tagged with the following special condition(s): Reused

Divider

Photo Galleries and Videos: Watkins Glen Iron Foot-Bridge

 
View Photo Gallery
Bridge Photo-Documentation
A collection of overview and detail photos. This photo gallery contains a combination of Original Size photos and Mobile Optimized photos in a touch-friendly popup viewer. Alternatively, Browse Without Using Viewer

Divider

Maps and Links: Watkins Glen Iron Foot-Bridge

Coordinates (Latitude, Longitude):

View Bridge Location In:

Bridgehunter.com: View listed bridges within a half mile of this bridge.

Bridgehunter.com: View listed bridges within 10 miles of this bridge.

Google Maps

Google Streetview (If Available)

Bing Maps

OpenStreetMap

Apple Maps (Via DuckDuckGo Search)

Apple Maps (Apple devices only)

MapQuest

HERE We Go Maps

ACME Mapper

Waze Map

Android: Open Location In Your Map or GPS App

Flickr Gallery (Find Nearby Photos)

Wikimedia Commons (Find Nearby Photos)

Directions Via Sygic For Android

Directions Via Sygic For iOS and Android Dolphin Browser

USGS National Map (United States Only)

Historical USGS Topo Maps (United States Only)

CalTopo Maps (United States Only)


Divider
 
Home Top

Divider

About - Contact

© Copyright 2003-2021, HistoricBridges.org. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer: HistoricBridges.org is a volunteer group of private citizens. HistoricBridges.org is NOT a government agency, does not represent or work with any governmental agencies, nor is it in any way associated with any government agency or any non-profit organization. While we strive for accuracy in our factual content, HistoricBridges.org offers no guarantee of accuracy. Information is provided "as is" without warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied. Information could include technical inaccuracies or errors of omission. Opinions and commentary are the opinions of the respective HistoricBridges.org member who made them and do not necessarily represent the views of anyone else, including any outside photographers whose images may appear on the page in which the commentary appears. HistoricBridges.org does not bear any responsibility for any consequences resulting from the use of this or any other HistoricBridges.org information. Owners and users of bridges have the responsibility of correctly following all applicable laws, rules, and regulations, regardless of any HistoricBridges.org information.

Divider