Petroleum Center Bridge Project
In the interest of public safety, the truss bridge that carries Petroleum Center Road (Route 1004) over Oil Creek in Cornplanter Township, Venango County is closed to motor vehicle traffic due to advanced deterioration and structural concerns.
The bridge is opened to pedestrians and bicyclists.
In the interest of public safety, the 139-year-old bridge was closed in October 2022 following a routine inspection. In spring 2023, further inspections were conducted, and plans were created that would allow the bridge to be reopened to pedestrians and bicylists.
Work on the bridge was being done by employees from the Venango County maintenance facility under the guidance of historic bridge consultant Gannett Fleming and PennDOT engineering staff. Along with repairs made to secure the bridge's truss system, the workers installed bollards on the roadway at both ends of the structure to prohibit vehicles from using the crossing.
Prior to the closure, funding had been allocated for design and construction costs related to the bridge. Preliminary design work began in 2022. A construction contract for work needed to reopen the bridge to vehicles is tentatively scheduled to be awarded in 2026.
The bridge is located within 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 through truss bridge was built in 1884 and was rehabilitated in 1984. It is posted with a weight limit of five tons, has a height restriction of 11 feet, and is rated in poor condition. The bridge is eligible for the National Register of Historic Places for its engineering significance, which includes its distinct design and its standing as an example of work done by the Morse Bridge Company of Youngstown, Ohio.
Due to its condition, the bridge is on a six-month inspection cycle.
The bridge is used by approximately 75 vehicles a day, on average.