Simmons Gives Y-Bridge Presentation

by Josh Overholser on July 19, 2014 at 11:53 am

As Zanesville’s Y-Bridge celebrates its bicentennial this year, area residents turned out to learn a little bit more about the bridge’s history.

The Muskingum County Library System and the Pioneer and Historical Society of Muskingum County hosted David Simmons at the John McIntire Auditorium Saturday afternoon. Simmons serves as President of the Ohio Historic Bridge Association and addressed the crowd on a wide range of topics including some of the reasons for constructing the bridge in the first place.

"It was a replacement for ferries, which, especially when the state capital was here, was not really satisfactory having ferries right in the middle of the city," Simmons said. "So they worked to have some sort of actual physical bridge structure as early as 1816."

Five different Y-bridges have stood over the Licking and Muskingum rivers over the last 200 years, including a covered bridge. The focal point of the speech by Simmons was the creation and failure of the 1902 Y-bridge–a bridge Simmons said could have potentially been saved with better inspections. Despite it being taken down in the 1980s, some of it still lives on today.

"In fact, some of it is actually maintained," Simmons said. "The piers in the middle of the river are from that earlier bridge. So it has some historic elements.

To learn more about the Y-bridge you can visit