1985 Highlights: Finding the Collapsed Conrail Bridge

The release of water after the dynamite explosion. The collapse can be seen in the distance.

To continue with our trip of March 20, 1985, we decided to go north on Manchester Road to Pennsylvania Route 5 and work our way back west looking for evidence of a bridge collapse.

Route 5 runs between parallel to Lake Erie and the Conrail tracks.

Between Pennsylvania Route 18 and the Route 5 crossing of Elk Creek we saw a large crowd of people with cameras and video cameras set up on an overlook looking south down the creek.

In the distance we saw the collapsed bridge with helicopters flying over it.

Since the collapse had created a dam of the creek, the blocked creek created a lake on the south side of the viaduct, flooding the area which included homes near Lake City, Pennsylvania.

The fill was about to be dynamited to release the flood. We were lucky to arrive at the right moment.

Article and Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

Another view of the flooding that occurred after the dam on Elk Creek created by the collapsed Conrail bridge was removed with dynamite. The rush of water took camper trailers with it.

The water line on trees can be seen in the area south of the collapse.

On the way back west that afternoon we stopped in Conneaut to photograph another Conrail train from the former Nickel Plate footbridge over the yard.

Above the Conrail train the Conrail mainline can be seen in the distance as well as the remains of the Nickel Plate shops.

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