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6.20.2021

Route 88 Mon Valley Views: Joe Montana Bridges, Viaduct, California Overlook

Today we head out on a little journey up and downstream through the Mon Valley. We start off at the Joe Montana Bridges, named after the football hall of famer that went to nearby Ringgold High School. 
The Joe Montana Bridges cross over the Mingo Creek Valley and are the second highest bridges in the state at 250 feet. They are 2400 feet in length. They were completed in 2002 for the Mon-Fayette Expressway. They are internationally recognized as an engineering feat. The bridges are also amongst the tallest highway bridges in the country. 
The Wheeling and Lake Erie Railroad trestle beneath it was no small feat either. This bridge crosses 200 feet above the Mingo Creek Valley, built in a similar manner to the famous Kinzua Bridge Viaduct. This spot is located almost adjurent to the cool Mingo Creek County Park, which is home to several beautiful covered bridges, great public gathering places, and access to nature. 

Just down Route 88, you are treated to a spectacular view of the Monongahela River in California, PA. Here you can see where the ferry ruins, which was the second to last river ferry crossing in the state, though it went away a number of years ago. You get a terrific view of the meandering river from this spot, though it is pretty heavily grown in.

We highly recommend taking a relaxing drive down Route 88 and the Mon River. The views are beautiful and the road is excellent for cruising from Pittsburgh. It is easy to launch off to places like Ohiopyle State Park, or Cooper Rock State Forest in West Virginia, and lots more. This is a great area to go for a lazy Sunday drive from Pittsburgh. 

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