The Bigelow Bridge
The Bigelow Bridge over the Cattaraugus Creek is significant as an intact example of a “Pennsylvania (Petit)” truss. This is a Parker truss modified with the addition of sub struts, resting on reinforced concrete abutments. This is an unusual bridge type in New York State and may represent the work of a Pennsylvania bridge builder rather than the typical New York bridge company. This type of truss structure was more commonly employed by railroads. Built in 1928 this single-span steel bridge is also important as a prominent element in an unaltered rural setting.
The bridge was designed for very heavy live loads which may relate to the historic use of this road as a motor, truck route. Between the southern tier and the Niagara Frontier by 1928 the motor truck had become an indisputable factor in the total economic system of Western New York. At the same time the farm products of the rural southern tier were transported along NY 240 crossing Bigelow Bridge by truck to Buffalo to sustain the inhabitants in a growing economy. Bigelow Bridge retains a high degree of historic integrity.
The adjoining areas of Cattaraugus Creek are also listed on the Nationwide Rivers Inventory because they possess areas of significant topography, diversity, and variation. These sections of Cattaraugus Creek have outstanding remarkable geologic value and are eligible for inclusion in the Wild and Scenic Rivers System.