Rochester in Beaver County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Spanning the Waters
—Stories of Beaver County & its Rivers —
It was in 1815 that the first bridge spanned the Beaver River to connect Rochester to Bridgewater. However, this covered wooden bridge was blown down six years later. Its replacement lasted lasted only 50 years before it was lost in a flood. In 1885, a toll bridge was constructed that was destroyed by fire in 1931. Today, you can see the fourth version of the Rochester-Bridgewater Bridge. Built in 1933 and repaired in 1977, it is still in use today. Some say the structure resembles the head, back and tail of a beaver.
Crossing the wide Ohio River with a bridge was a more challenging matter. The first bridge connecting Rochester to Monaca over the Ohio was a lengthy suspension bridge known as the Ohio River Bridge that served the area from 1895 to 1930. A second bridge was built in 1932 and closed in 1983. Now crossing the Ohio in nearly the same spot is the Rochester-Monaca Bridge - a highway bridge that was completed in 1986 and is the third bridge built on the site. Sometimes known as the Monaca-Rochester Bridge, the bridge's current name depends on the outcome of the annual football game
Up river from Rochester is another highway bridge that also crosses the Ohio River - the East Rochester-Monaca Bridge which was completed in 1959. Once a toll bridge, it is now a free bridge that is still in use.
The railroad also needed to cross the rivers and from here you can see two railroad bridges: the Cleveland & Pittsburgh Railroad Bridge which crosses the Beaver River and the P&LE Bridge which spans the Ohio. Rochester's bridges, railroads, river routes, former canals, and current highways make an important intermodal hub for Beaver County and the nation - both yesterday and today.
The Pittsburgh & Lake Erie (P&LE) Railroad Bridge that spans the Ohio River between Monaca and Bridgeport was completed in 1910 and was considered an engineering marvel. Built by the McClintic-Marshall Construction Co. of Pittsburgh, the bridge sections were built from both sides of the river. This was a complex project requiring much manpower and engineering expertise. When the two sides met up to be joined in the middle, the sections were only off by one-eighth of an inch! Built to withstand heavy loads, it is said that 50 freight engines were parked on the bridge to prove its strength to the public before it was opened for use.
Location. 40° 41.866′ N, 80° 17.236′ W. Marker is in Rochester, Pennsylvania, in Beaver County. Marker is on Water Street west of Harrison Street, on the left when traveling west. Touch for map. This historic marker is located along the river front, very near the east side of the mouth of the Beaver River. Marker is in this post office area: Rochester PA 15074, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Lewis and Clark (within shouting distance of this marker); Logans Town (within shouting distance of this marker); About River Transit ... (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Industry Along the Banks (about 700 feet away); Always A River 1991 (about 800 feet away); Make Way for the Railroad (approx. 0.2 miles away); Rochester Lodge Number 229 (approx. ¼ mile away); H.C. Fry Glass Company (approx. ¼ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Rochester.
Categories. • Bridges & Viaducts • Man-Made Features •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on May 7, 2012, by Dale K. Benington of Toledo, Ohio. This page has been viewed 448 times since then and 26 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on May 8, 2012, by Dale K. Benington of Toledo, Ohio.