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Breakneck Bridge - Slippery Rock Twnp PA

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Breakneck Bridge, a covered bridge opened in about 1874, spanned Cheeseman Run – a tributary off of Slippery Rock Creek. The bridge was in a deteriorating condition when a coal truck fell through it on the night of Friday, August 15, 1952. The truck burst into flames, but the driver, 21-year-old Michael Bryan Foley, initially survived with serious injuries. He later died in the hospital. Breakneck Bridge, and nearby Eckert Bridge spanning the Slippery Rock Creek, were both closed, while efforts began to replace them. (c1940) Full Size


The crumbling wooden bridge (shown above) was cleared away in 1953. Construction on a new Breakneck Bridge and Eckert’s Bridge began in early 1954. I believe Breakneck Bridge is partially located in both Slippery Rock and Perry Townships. (1953) Full Size


A new Breakneck Bridge, a concrete deck span (shown above), was opened in October 1954. Due to erosion and washouts the bridge – including nearby Eckert Bridge and the road between them – was closed in August 1979. The closure limited traffic into McConnell’s Mill State Park. The bridge has generally been closed ever since and the adjoining portion of Breakneck Bridge Road was subsequently abandoned. (c1953)


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A January 2001 report estimated it would cost about $610,000 to fully repair and reopen Breakneck Bridge, Breakneck Bridge Road, Eckert’s Bridge, Eckert’s Bridge Road, and Cheeseman Road – which would fully restore traffic across the Slippery Rock Creek at this location. Nothing came of this and other efforts and Breakneck Bridge sits abandoned as of 2017. You can access the bridge via Cheeseman Road and park your vehicle right next to it. (Feb 2016)


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Comment

  1. Grandpa Fred Weisz took my cousin and I to the bridge after the truck went through. We climbed partway down into the ravine where the truck landed. Don’t think we told our parents tho.

    Carol Sherman McVicker · 07/04/2014 08:31 PM · #