1 vote

AK Steel Ore Conveyor Bridge



Photo taken by Panoramio user JBTHEMILKER

License: Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs (CC BY-ND)

View this photo at panoramio.com

BH Photo #337973

Street View 


Lengths given are extremely rough estimates.


Through truss Ore Conveyor bridge over Ore Storage
Boyd County, Kentucky
Future prospects
Assumed to be slated for demolition or at risk for demolition following implosion of historic blast furnace in February 2022
Warren through truss with all verticals
Length of largest span: 280.0 ft.
Total length: 380.0 ft.
Also called
Armco Ore Conveyor Bridge
American Rolling Mill Company Ore Conveyor Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+38.49894, -82.67197   (decimal degrees)
38°29'56" N, 82°40'19" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
17/354201/4262500 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Inventory number
BH 69315 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • February 17, 2022: Updated by Nathan Holth: Changed name to reflect actual purpose and ownership of structure, noted likely risk for demolition.
  • February 17, 2022: Updated by Josh Schmid: Added type
  • June 18, 2016: New Street View added by J.P.
  • September 23, 2015: Added by Dave King



AK Steel Ore Conveyor Bridge
Posted February 17, 2022, by Nathan Holth (webmaster [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

It turns out this IS in fact an Ore Conveyor, sadly it may be gone either already or soon as in checking this structure I learned that they just imploded a historic blast furnace on the site as the steel mill is totally shut down. You can watch history being destroyed here: https://www.wsaz.com/2022/02/08/demolition-idle-ak-steel-sit...

Bridges keep me busy enough that I have never had time to be involved with the work of groups like SIA that advocate for the preservation of structures like old steel mills, but that said this is still a devastating loss of history for anyone with an appreciation of iron and steel history. These massive old blast furnaces are not built anymore, as most new steel mills use electric arc furnaces.

For reasons which elude me (given the outdated technology) these old steel mill companies that are going out of business or declining all guard their secrets like they are running Area 51 and tours became nearly impossible after 9-11.

Here is an AK Steel documentary I am listing because that is who operated this mill:


But the best documentary I have ever seen by far is this British documentary because it dates to 1945 back before all the OSHA safety stuff we have today and despite the age of the documentary it was filmed in full color. You can see the people who made the steel used to build the bridges that are demolished without a second thought today were really risking their lives to produce the steel in these bridges! Notice how close they were to molten steel with no protection.


Pipeline Bridge
Posted March 30, 2016, by george oakley (georgeoakley49 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

I didn't see the bucket on the satellite imagery.That's why i thought what it was.

Pipeline Bridge
Posted March 28, 2016, by Nathan Holth (webmaster [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

Here are a variety of photos I took of the various ore conveyors on the Indiana Harbor Canal (former Inland Steel works). These photos show a few different configurations, including fixed trusses and even trusses with a bascule component to raise and lower the end over the water. They ride along the canal's edge on a rail system. Large bucket scoops move perpendicular to the rail system, suspended from the trusses by a movable cable system. They are capable of unloading freighters, stockpiling materials in piles, and later transferring materials to the mills.

Although perhaps a better fit for landmarkhunter.com, I can guarantee that these structures are of far more interest to historians than the neighborhood modern prefab ConTech bridge, so I encourage anyone who knows of such structures to go ahead and photograph them even if the final destination is landmarkhunter.com vs bridgehunter.

Pipeline Bridge
Posted March 28, 2016, by Royce Haley (roycehaley111 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

Here is a beautiful example of a preserved steel mill loading crane in Bethlehem, PA. Thank you for conformation guys. This is what I thought it was


Pipeline Bridge
Posted March 28, 2016, by Nathan Holth (nathan [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

I assume its a conveyor/crane system used to load/unload coal for the power plant.

Some of the old steel mills have beautiful riveted steel ore conveyors that have very strong bridge-like characteristics. US Steel Garyworks, steel mills along the Indiana Harbor Canal, steel works at Cleveland, all come to mind. Some even have an end that acts like a bascule.

Pipeline Bridge
Posted March 28, 2016, by george oakley (georgeoakley49 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

This may be a wild guess Royce but it could be a watering system to keep the coal dust down.I agree it is not a bridge but one on a set of tracks that it rides on.Probably steel wheels.If i am wrong,i stand corrected.

Pipeline Bridge
Posted March 27, 2016, by Royce and Bobette Haley (roycehaley111 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

I am not sure this is a bridge. Might be some type of crane. Appears to be mounted on tracks with no approaches that I see. Can someone else take a look