Oil Center Truss Bridge in Oil Creek State Park Closed
In the interest of public safety, the truss bridge that carries Petroleum Center Road (Highway 1004) over Oil Creek in Cornplanter Township, Venango County was closed today due to advanced deterioration and issues structural features discovered during a recent inspection.
The bridge is located in Oil Creek State Park, near the intersection with Russell Corners Road, the park office, and the Egbert Farm day-use area.
The single-lane steel truss bridge was built in 1884 and rehabilitated in 1984. It is posted with a five-ton weight limit, an 11-foot height restriction, and is classified as poor condition. The bridge is eligible for the National Register of Historic Places for its engineering significance, which includes its distinct design and status as an example of work done by the Morse Bridge Company of Youngstown, Ohio.
“Historic bridges present unique challenges. Simply replacing that bridge with a new one is not an option. We are required by state and federal regulations to coordinate the scopes and details of these projects with the State Historic Preservation Office, which which takes longer than the simplest bridge projects. Repair and rehabilitation efforts must follow guidelines and preserve the historic nature of the structure,” said PennDOT District 1 Manager Brian McNulty. factors require time to evaluate and design solutions that meet today’s structural and historical standards.”
Due to its condition, the bridge is subject to a six-month inspection cycle. Prior to the last inspection, funds had been allocated for the design and construction costs associated with the bridge. Preliminary design work began this year. A construction contract is tentatively expected to be awarded in 2026.
The bridge is used by about 75 vehicles per day on average.
A detour is posted using Route 8, Route 227, State Park Road and Petroleum Center Road. Temporary signage and billboards are in place along the detour route. Plans call for long-term signage to be installed later this fall.
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MEDIA CONTACT: Jill Harry, 814-678-5035
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