Festival in McKean County canceled by construction

The Kinzua Viaduct, once the tallest and longest railroad bridge in the world, stands closed to even pedestrian traffic Sept. 25, 2002, in Mount Jewett, Pa. Engineers are struggling to find a way to shore up the engineering feat that is still the fourth-tallest railroad bridge in the nation. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

MOUNT JEWETT, Pa. (AP) — Officials have canceled this year’s Kinzua Bridge State Park Fall Festival because construction equipment needed for a new visitor’s center at the engineering marvel in northwestern Pennsylvania won’t leave enough room.

Debbie Lunden, secretary of the Kinzua Bridge Foundation, tells the Bradford Era construction should begin in July.

The 301-foot tall structure near Mount Jewett was once the tallest and largest railroad bridge in the world, until a tornado ripped 11 of its 20 support towers from their bases on July 21, 2003.

A glass-bottomed deck and walkway have already been built atop six of the remaining support towers. But the rest of the project, including the visitor’s center, had been delayed by weather and funding problems.

The viaduct was built in 1882, rebuilt for bigger trains in 1900 and used by freight trains until 1959.

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