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The Legacy Of The Kinzua Viaduct And How It Served The Coal Mining Industry

The Kinzua Viaduct was a bridge built by 40 workers in just 94 days from tibular wrought iron columns.

From the late 19th century and well into the 20th century, the Kinzua Viaduct was vital to locomotives traveling through northwestern Pennsylvania to reach McKean County’s supply of coal, timber and oil. The viaduct was built over the Kinzua Gorge to avoid having to construct an additional 8 miles of track over rough terrain.

Construction began in 1881 and upon completion in 1882, it became the highest and longest railroad viaduct in the world, gaining recognition by some as the “eighth wonder of the world.”

Even after it closed to freight traffic in 1959, the viaduct,

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