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Throwback Thursday: Constructing the Judge J. Frank Graff Bridge in Armstrong County

February 27, 2020 08:00 AM
By: Jamie Arehart

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The Judge J. Frank Graff Bridge is a truss bridge that carries SR 422 and SR 28 across the Allegheny River, connecting Manor Township and North Buffalo Township.

Graff Bridge Raising Gang
July 23, 1973 - A “raising gang” from US Steel’s American Bridge Division, with the aid of twin 100-ton capacity crawler cranes, is in the process of fitting a steel girder in place on one the bridge’s west bank foundation peers.

The bridge is 2,708 feet in length. It was constructed in 1974 as part of a freeway bypass of Kittanning, Pennsylvania, allowing much-needed economic growth within Armstrong County.

Graff Bridge Steel Grinder
July 23, 1973 - A 150 foot-length steel girder is being carefully hoisted in place over the Allegheny River.

The structure is named for Frank Graff, an Armstrong County Court of Common Pleas Judge who later rose to become a member of the Pennsylvania Superior Court. In 1915, his career began in Kittanning as a lawyer before he was called to fight in Germany in World War I where he saw heavy combat. Upon returning to his hometown, Graff went on to run and win the a seat on the Court of Common Pleas in Armstrong County, which he held for almost 50 years. His is one of the longest judicial tenures ever to be held in the state.

Graff Bridge Article
An issue of The Allegheny Review from 1976.

This year marks the 46-year anniversary of the bridge's completion.

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