Skip to main content

The National Road - Ohio - Zanesville Y Bridge

Zanesville, Ohio is home to one of the more unique bridges in the United States.  Situated at the confluence of the Licking and Muskingum Rivers, the 'Y' bridge consists of three 'legs' that meet over the rivers to form a Y.  As a result, it is possible to cross the bridge while beginning and ending on the same side of the river as you started from.  For over 200 years, five different versions of this unique bridge has crossed the two rivers in Zanesville.
(Mike Austing)
The first 'Y' Bridge was built in 1814 - a wooden trestle style bridge - and lasted only four years.  In 1819, a new second bridge would be opened and would stand until it was condemned as unsafe 12 years later.  The third Y bridge consisted of three covered bridges and stood until 1900.

For nearly a century - US 40 traffic makes either a left (westbound) or right (eastbound) hand turn at the center of the bridge.  (Doug Kerr)
In 1902, the fourth version of the famous landmark was constructed and carried traffic until 1979.  It was this structure that led Amelia Earhart to say that Zanesville was, "the most recognizable city in the country."  The Main Street leg of structure had a lift span over the Muskingum River.  The above-grade superstructure of the lift was removed in 1973.  In 1979, the entire bridge structure was deemed unsafe and closed to vehicular traffic.  Construction on the fifth and current span began in 1983 with the new bridge opening to traffic in the fall of 1984.

(Mike Austing)
The best vantage spot to see the 'Y' Bridge is from the Putnam Hill Park Overlook which sits just south of the bridge.


Site Navigation:
Sources & Links:

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Relief Route That Wasn't: The Never Built I-70 Bypass in the Mid-Mon Valley

In June 1963, a small blurb in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette read that The Westmoreland Engineering Company was awarded a $24,060 bid to study the proposed construction of Interstate 70 in Westmoreland and Washington Counties.  The study was to see what the construction and right-of-way costs "...to modernize the existing highway to Interstate requirements within eight months." (1)  This small, non-attributed, three paragraph article came less than a decade after the completion of a four lane highway that linked the Mid-Mon Valley to the Pennsylvania Turnpike. This would be the start of a 15 year process to upgrade and improve Interstate 70 - a process that ultimately never produced a single foot of new highway.

This is the story, albeit brief, of the I-70 that never came about.

Background:
What is now known as Interstate70 from Washington to New Stanton began as a connecting highway for the region to the Pennsylvania Turnpike.  Known as the "Express Highway", construct…

The Many Failed Plans of Pittsburgh's Wabash Bridge and Tunnel

The December 27, 2004 opening of the Wabash Tunnel ended over 70 years of proposals and speculation for the use of the over 100 year old facility.  The tunnel, which is now a reversible roadway that is an alternative route for rush hour traffic, saw many failed plans during the 20th Century.  These plans included options for mass transit, converted and new bridges for vehicles, and other forms of transportation.

Brief History:
Constructed in 1902-04, the Wabash Bridge and Tunnel was planned and financed by rail mogul, Jay Gould.  Gould began his "Battle of the Wabash" with the established railroads of the city in 1890.  He would finally emerge victorious, but during that struggle, Gould would see many setbacks that would eventually result in the railroad's bankruptcy in 1908.  On October 19, 1903, when the two ends of the bridge were to be joined together over the Monongahela River, the 109' bridge collapsed; killing ten men.  Construction would resume four days later …

A look at Pittsburgh's Saw Mill Run Boulevard

Saw Mill Run Boulevard - Pennsylvania State Route 51 - runs through the narrow Saw Mill Run Valley.  It begins at the intersection of Clairton Road and Provost Road at the City of Pittsburgh Line with Brentwood.  It ends at the West End Circle at the entrance to the West End Bridge.  A four lane highway for its the entire length, Saw Mill Run Boulevard consists of interchanges at the South Portal of the Liberty Tubes and with the Parkway West.  It is an expressway from the Parkway to the West End Circle (West End Bypass).  One of the most well known traffic tie-ups in the Pittsburgh area occurs between Maytide Street and PA 88 (Library Road) which is simply known as 'Maytide and 88.'

History:
Saw Mill Run Boulevard was part of the 1928 Allegheny County 'City Beautiful' bond issue.  The bonds resulted in the creation of Saw Mill Run, Ohio River, Allegheny River and Mosside Boulevards. (1)   After the completion of the Liberty Tunnels in 1924, Downtown Pittsburgh was offic…