Pymatuning State Park Trail Project
The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) worked together on the project to rehabilitate and expand the multi-purpose trail near the spillway in Pymatuning State Park.
Work included resurfacing the existing Pymatuning Spillway Trail from Fries Road past the Spillway Overlook to Hartstown Road as well as adding a new section of trail constructed from Hartstown Road to South Chestnut Street in Linesville Borough.
The overall project increased the length of the pathway from just over one mile long to more than three miles long, resulting in safe access to park visitor centers, schools, and a connection with Route 6 and Bicycle PA Route Y.
Work started in 2021, and was completed in the fall of 2022.
As part of the project, the historic Messerall Truss Bridge was relocated and repurposed. The bridge was removed and dismantled at its previous location in Oil Creek Township, Crawford County, rehabilitated at a workshop, and reassembled with a wooden deck at Pymatuning State Park.
The project is considered Phase 1 of the plan to expand the Pymatuning Spillway Trail. The next phase includes a new trail that runs from South Chesnut Street to Townline Road.
Messerall Truss Bridge
The metal bowstring through truss bridge, which once carried Messerall Road over Pine Creek, was constructed in 1876 and had been closed since 1987. In its new location, the bridge carries the multi-use trail over Linesville Creek.
The bridge originally carried pedestrians and horses to the oil fields of Crawford and Warren counties. It later served as a single-lane crossing for passenger vehicles. It became historically significant as one of the few surviving bowstring truss bridges in the state and the only one west of the Susquehanna River.
In 2021, it was hoisted by crane and removed from its abutments in one piece. It was partially dismantled at a nearby landing area and then taken to a metal workshop, Lockhart Ironworks in Logan, Ohio, to be rehabilitated.
It was partially reassembled at the Ohio shop, using as many of the refurbished original parts as possible then moved to Pymatuning State Park in late August 2022. After additional reassembly work was complete including hot riveting approximately 2,500 connections. The bridge was moved into final position over Linesville Creek in September and soon after was fitted with a wooden deck and opened for public use.
Preservation Through Partnerships Messerall Bridge Video