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Bryan Bridge, Valentine

4.3
#7 of 11 in Things to do in Valentine
Bridge · Hidden Gem · Tourist Spot
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The Bryan Bridge brings U.S. Route 20 over the Niobrara River in Cherry County, Nebraska, near Valentine. It was built in 1932 and is a pin-connected arch bridge that is designated "Most Beautiful Steel Bridge" in its year, out of bridges costing less than $250,000, by the American Institute of Steel Construction. It is named after then-sitting Nebraska governor Charles W. Bryan.

According to its NRHP nomination, it is significant "in the area of structural engineering on a state level as an excellent and well-preserved example of a pin-connected cantilever arch bridge. It is the only one of its kind in Nebraska." The NRHP nominator interviewed its designer, Josef Sorkin of the state's Division of Bridge Design, on why he chose this type of design, and reported that he replied "'"aesthetics, it blended into the surroundings and it was also an economical design for the site." Cantilever arch structures, which have been infrequently used nationwide, were constructed in the mid 1920s to mid 1930s. The cantilever type of truss bridge permitted longer spans and was typically used for spanning major rivers."
National Register designation was given in 1988. It is also designated as NeHBS #CE00-28. In 1995, the bridge was designated as a State Historic Civil Engineering Landmark by the American Society of Civil Engineers.
U.S. Route 20 now crosses the Niobrara River about 2,000 feet (610 m) to the north.
To visit Bryan Bridge on your trip to Valentine, use our Valentine road trip app.
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Bryan Bridge reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.0
22 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • Just a short jaunt off the Highway is the historical marker and the bridge. If ya drive across the bridge and take the first right, you can 1) go down River Rd and get a great view of this bridge on....  more
    Just a short jaunt off the Highway is the historical marker and the bridge. If ya drive across the bridge and take the first right, you can 1) go down River Rd and get a great view of this bridge on....  more »
  • A very special bridge to observe and read the plaque and information panel. I walked across the bridge and got some great photos. 
    A very special bridge to observe and read the plaque and information panel. I walked across the bridge and got some great photos.  more »
Google
  • This is a very unique piece of engineering in an absolutely beautiful setting. I recommend highly.
  • Nice historical bridge. The trail to the base was closed when we were there due to a storm, but hopefully it is open when you go. You get a pretty good view from the top, though, and there is ample parking

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