This bridge has been abandoned. Although once arguably outshined by the unique design and stunning beauty of the demolished Bridgeport Bridge, with the Bridgeport Bridge now demolished, this bridge is Wheeling and West Virginia's last chance to save a historic metal truss bridge for Wheeling Island. This bridge is in its own right rare, with its multi-span Pennsylvania truss design, and it has a rare ornate portal bracing cresting. The bridge is closed to traffic, but you can still walk across it and inspect and photograph the beautiful Pennsylvania truss configuration of this magnificent bridge.
Information and Findings From Ohio's Historic Bridge Inventory
The bridge, which is closed to traffic but not pedestrians, carries a 2 lane street over the Ohio River's back channel at the WV-OH border. The west end of the bridge is in Bridgeport, Ohio, and the east end of the bridge is in Wheeling Island W.Va. At the southeast quadrant is a park and small boat launch. Beyond the east end of the bridge is a residential setting of houses dating ca. 1880-1920. At the west (Ohio) end of the bridge is SR 7, which parallels the river. Georgia Street crosses SR 7 on a modern (post-1960) bridge.
The 4-span, pin-connected Pennsylvania thru truss is supported on ashlar piers. The bridge is composed of eyebars for the tension members and built-up sections for the compression members. The lower chords and diagonals are eyebars. The upper chords and end posts are composed of built-up, box-shaped members of plates, angles, channels, and bars. The verticals are an uncommon built-up configuration of four Z-bars joined at the flanges to form an I-shaped section. The bridge has lattice portals with "sunburst" decorative brackets and wrought-iron crestline. A sidewalk is cantilevered from the bridge's north elevation. It is supported on built-up lattice brackets. The welded angle railings are not original. The bridge has open-grid steel deck, supported on built-up floorbeams and rolled stringers.
The flooring system (deck/stringers) has been replaced (ca. 1960). The railings have been replaced (ca. 1960). Some eyebar diagonals have been strengthened with the addition of steel cables. Welded upper lateral bracing has been added.
Summary of Significance
The ca. 1900 pin-connected Pennsylvania thru truss
is in WV jurisdiction and is considered eligible, according to WVDOT's
historic bridge inventory. The bridge retains integrity of design and
materials, although there have been some minor changes to the deck,
railings, and upper lateral bracing. The bridge is 1 of 4 pin-connected
Pennsylvania thru truss bridges dating from 1888 to 1914 in the ODOT
survey. It is a technologically significant example of its type/design.
The pin connected thru truss bridge is one of 13 extant examples of bridges with polygonal upper chords and/or subdivided panels in the state that date from 1888 until 1923. It is of moderate significance given that the numbers in the population.
Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: Yes
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Original / Full Size Photos
|A collection of overview and detail photos, taken July 31, 2007. For the best visual immersion and full detail, or for use as a desktop background, this gallery presents the photos for this bridge in the original digital camera resolution.|
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2006 Bridge Photo-Documentation
|A collection of overview and detail photos, taken on a rainy July 4, 2006. This photo gallery contains a combination of Original / Full Sized photos and Mobile/Smartphone Optimized (Reduced Size) photos. Alternatively, view this photo gallery using a popup slideshow viewer by clicking the link below.
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