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East Brady Bridge

East Brady Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: June 11, 2004 and July 1, 2006

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Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
PA-68 Over Allegheny River
East Brady: Armstrong County, Pennsylvania and Clarion County, Pennsylvania: United States
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1934 By Builder/Contractor: Lackawanna Bridge Company of Buffalo, New York
Rehabilitation Date
Main Span Length
200.0 Feet (61 Meters)
Structure Length
771.0 Feet (235 Meters)
Roadway Width
20 Feet (6.1 Meters)
4 Main Span(s)
Inventory Number

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)
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Bridge Documentation

This bridge no longer exists!

Bridge Status: This historic bridge was demolished 10:30 AM EDT, Monday June 4, 2007

This bridge was a four span Pratt through truss with riveted connections. Each span contained eight panels. This bridge may not have been the most historically significant or unaltered bridge around, but surely it had a history, and an interesting one at that. This bridge did not deserve to be demolished; it should instead have been restored. The bridge was originally built in 1885 as a four span pin-connected Whipple through truss. A historical photo is shown at the end of this narrative. In 1934, floods destroyed two spans of the Whipple truss superstructure, and as a result those two spans were replaced by Lackawanna Bridge Company with riveted Pratt through truss spans, while reusing the original stone piers. The other two Whipple truss spans were retained. In 1953, this bridge was rehabilitated. In 1973, half of the bridge (the two surviving Whipple truss spans) was replaced with new Pratt truss spans by the American Bridge Company. The 1973 spans were in a general sense the same design, with the same number of panels and the same truss configuration. However, driving across the bridge, it was easy to note the rolled i-beam construction and lack of riveted built-up beams on the newer 1973 spans which were built according to typical practice and using typical materials of the period which by that time no longer included rivets or built-up beams. In 2007, PennDOT brought an end to this colorful history by blowing the bridge up and dragging the shattered remains out of the Allegheny River to be hauled away likely to be turned into cheap Chinese steel.

People had complained that the bridge was narrow with trucks on it. This did not mean the bridge had to be demolished. PennDOT should have built a one-lane bridge next to the truss bridge, forming a one-way couplet. Another option would be to leave the bridge standing for pedestrian use. The historic bridge was not in the way of its replacement when it was demolished. In other words, it was demolished just for the sake of erasing beauty and history from the Allegheny River. A bridge that can hold trucks today certainly can carry pedestrians, even un-repaired, for a number of decades to come. Demolishing this bridge was not just an insult to our history, it was a waste of taxpayer money. Money that could have been put toward restoring the bridge.

Despite alteration, this bridge was still much more attractive than its modern replacement is. Gone is the interesting "tunnel effect" one had while driving over the bridge, now that the demolition is completed. The bridge looked nice from a distance as well, where the newer spans looked essentially identical to the historic spans. Instead of demolition, a fresh coat of paint and continued use as a pedestrian crossing next to its replacement would really have helped this bridge and the East Brady community a lot.

On a greater scale, the East Brady Bridge was not the most historic truss bridge out there due to its alterations. However, from a local perspective, this bridge acted as a gateway for East Brady, and one of the main attractions in East Brady. It was a very important bridge for East Brady and the counties it bordered. Thus, its preservation should have been undertaken.

View Archived National Bridge Inventory Report - Has Additional Details and Evaluation

View An Archived Discussion of This Bridge From Disappearing Bridges, a Website That No Longer Exists

View Historical Articles About This Bridge

Information and Findings From Pennsylvania's Historic Bridge Inventory

Discussion of Bridge

The skewed, 771'-long, 4 span (1 @ 161', 1 @ 198', 1 @ 199', and 1 @ 197'), riveted Pratt thru truss bridge is supported on an ashlar substructure raised with concrete extensions. The trusses are traditionally composed with rolled section used for the verticals and diagonals. Original bolted connections at the gusset plates have been replaced with high-strength bolts, a modification dating from 1973. The bridge is an example of a state highway department standard design riveted metal truss bridge that was used with great frequency beginning in the mid 1920s. It has no innovative or distinctive details. Approximately 150 riveted truss bridges built between 1925 and 1957 remain statewide. Neither it nor its setting is historically or technologically significant.

Discussion of Surrounding Area

The bridge carries a 2 lane state highway and a sidewalk over the Allegheny River. The area does not have historic district potential. To the southwest is Bradys Bend, a steep wooded ridge with modular homes in the flood plain. To the northeast is the borough of East Brady. PHMC designated a potential historic there in 1996, but excluded the bridge and the predominantly modern buildings found at the quadrants.

Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: No


Photo Galleries and Videos: East Brady Bridge


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Maps and Links: East Brady Bridge

This historic bridge has been demolished. This map is shown for reference purposes only.

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HistoricBridges.org Bridge Browser: View listed bridges within 10 miles (16 kilometers) of this bridge.

2021 National Bridge Inventory: View listed bridges within 0.5 miles (0.8 kilometers) of this bridge.

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