The George C. Platt Memorial Bridge is a through truss bridge that carries PA 291 over the Schuylkill River in Southwest Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It was opened to traffic in 1951, replacing a swing bridge to the south which carried Penrose Ferry Road across the river. Originally called the Penrose Avenue Bridge, it was renamed in 1979 to honor Civil War hero George Crawford Platt . Today, the Platt Bridge is a key arterial route which carries an average of 56,000 vehicles daily.
The bridge passes over an oil refinery . It has been imperiled a few times by fires at the refinery. On August 17, 1975, fire broke out in a tank to the northeast of the bridge that was being filled with Venezuelan crude oil. As the fire enveloped much of the refinery, several explosions put a large crack in a smokestack next to the bridge. Officials closed the bridge for several hours, fearing that the stack might collapse or the fire might damage the bridge. The 1975 Philadelphia Refinery Fire also killed eight firefighters.
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