Scenic USA - Nebraska

Bryan Bridge

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Bryan Bridge - Valentine, Nebraska

Photos by Ben Prepelka
Scenic USA Artist Website

     Flowing intermittently across the high plains of Wyoming, the Niobrara River picks up the pace in Nebraska as it is joined by hundreds of spring-fed streams. Flanked by majestic cliffs and side canyons, the Niobrara National Scenic River has earned a spot on the ten top canoeing rivers in America. Between Valentine and Norden, easy river access, plenty of outfitters and campgrounds make this one of the most popular paddles in Nebraska.
     Just south of Valentine, where the Niobrara skirts the city, the arched cantilever Bryan Bridge crosses the Niobrara River. Most notable for its elegant design, this 1930s bridge is the only one of its kind in the United States. Designed by Russian immigrant Josef Surkin, the cantilever truss is connected in the center with a single pin. Nearing 300 feet long, the bridge was named by local residents in honor of then Governor Charles Wayland Bryan. One of the first bridges in the West to be chosen the most beautiful bridge by the American Institute of Steel Construction, the bridge has since been placed on the National Register of Historic Places and designated a State Historic Civil Engineering Landmark. Bypassed by a modern bridge on U.S. Route 83, the Bryan Bridge still supports vehicular traffic and can be viewed from the Bryan Bridge overlook.

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