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Bryan Bridge, Valentine

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.
U.S. Route 20 now crosses the Niobrara River about 2000ft to the north.
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Bryan Bridge Reviews

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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.0
20 reviews
  • this was a very cool place to visit and it does not take that long to see they have a monument that explains the bridge  more »
  • The bridge is just off of a small detour on Highway 20. It gives a great vantage point to the amazing scenery that surrounds it including the Niobrara River, the current bridge and the old Cowboy...  more »
  • Beautiful spot. Nice history.
  • Wee drive 4 1/2 hrs to get here to see a bridge that was not like the video we watched. It was fun, but definitely not worth the drive. If you plan on coming up, make sure you plan some other fun events to do along with this sight.

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