Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) representatives, alongside the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) provided an update on the Pymatuning State Park Trail Extension Project on Tuesday.

The update was provided near the future location of the Messerall Tress Bridge. The bridge was originally built in 1876 and once carried Messerall Road over Pine Creek in Oil Creek Township.

The metal bowstring through the bridge was closed in 1987 due to deterioration.

Now, the 146-year-old bridge has been refurbished and is being reassembled onsite and will be located along a new portion of the multi-use trail outside Linesville Borough in Crawford County.

The bridge will carry hikers and cyclists over Linesville Creek near the Pymatuning Reservoir and will allow for travel from Fries Road past the Spillway Overlook to Hartstown Road along a new section of trail running to South Chestnut Street.

The project increases the length of the pathway from just over one mile to over three miles long resulting in safe access to visitor centers, schools and a connection with the Route 6 and Bicycle PA Route Y.

In August of 2021, the bridge was hoisted by crane and removed from its abutments in one piece. It was partially dismantled at a nearby landing area in Logan, Ohio to be rehabilitated.

The bridge was partially reassembled there using as many of the original refurbished parts as possible and then moved to Pymatuning State Park earlier in September. 

Additional reassembly work is ongoing and the bridge is expected to be in place later this week, when it will be fitted with a wooden deck and open to the public again.

The project started in July of 2021 and is expected to be completed in July of 2022.