BRADFORD, Pa. — The state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources has set aside some time in July to inspect the Kinzua Viaduct, but officials said the park will be open nonetheless.
Park manager Mitch Stickle with the DCNR said the visitors center and overlook areas will be open. “The skywalk itself will be closed from sunrise to noon.”
The anticipated dates for the inspection are July 12 to 16, July 19 to 23 and July 26 to 30.
“The first week, if the weather is fine, they will not need the second week,” Stickle said. “It’s weather dependent.”
He stressed that the inspections will be over by noon, and the skywalk will be open after that.
State Parks Director John Hallas, in a prepared statement, said, “The pedestrian walkway is routinely inspected to ensure it is safe for visitors, and to assist in future planning for maintenance and upkeep projects. There is still plenty to do at Kinzua Bridge State Park and the surrounding area— exploring trails, other observation areas, and exhibits — for morning visitors who are waiting for the bridge to open.”
The skywalk will remain open from sunrise to sunset on Saturdays and Sundays.
So far this year, the weather hasn’t been conducive to treks on the so-called “tracks across the sky.” Stickle said, “Visitation so far, it’s been relatively busy. It’s been steady.”
Located in Mount Jewett in the Pennsylvania Wilds, the focal point of the 339-acre Kinzua Bridge State Park is the skywalk, a pedestrian walkway 225 feet above the valley floor.
Prior to being a pedestrian skywalk, the viaduct spanned the entire valley and was once the longest and tallest railroad structure in the world. The bridge was previously used to transport coal, timber, and oil, and then later tourist excursion trains across the Kinzua Gorge. In 2003, a tornado partially demolished the structure.
Attendance at Kinzua Bridge State Park was more than 213,000 visits in 2020.