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Aetnaville Bridge

Georgia Street Bridge

Aetnaville Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth and Rick McOmber

Bridge Documented: July 4, 2006 and July 31, 2007
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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Georgia Street Over Ohio River Back Channel
Bridgeport and Wheeling: Belmont County, Ohio and Ohio County, West Virginia: United States
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1891 By Builder/Contractor: Unknown

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Main Span Length
200 Feet (60.96 Meters)
Structure Length
1043 Feet (317.91 Meters)
Roadway Width
18 Feet (5.49 Meters)
4 Main Span(s)
NBI Number

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)

Bridge Documentation

This Bridge's Future Is At Risk!

This historic bridge is slated for demolition and replacement in 2015 By West Virginia Department of Highways!

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About the Georgia Street Bridge

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.

Physical Description

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 Pennsylvania truss type/design, also sometimes referred to as a Pettit truss, is a subdivided Pratt truss with polygonal upper chord that was developed in the 1870s for use as a long-span bridge with heavy locomotives. The Pennsylvania Railroad popularized the form (hence the name), and Henry Pettit, an engineer in the employ of the railroad, became associated with it. It was not, however, used exclusively by the Pennsylvania RR being a very popular railroad and later highway truss design. Lighter pin-connected Pennsylvania truss highway bridges were built from the 1880s to 1910s, and the design also made the transition to heavier, rivet-connected designs of the mid 20th century. The truss's main advantages are an economical use of material provided by the sloped upper chord and the added stiffness provided by the substruts and ties in longer spans. Span lengths of up to 300 ft. are not uncommon. Ohio has eight identified examples dating from 1888 to 1939 (Phase 1A, 2008). Post-1900 examples are less significant than earlier examples, but they may illustrate important refinements, such as the use of riveted connections or rolled section members.


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

View PDF Historic Bridge Inventory Sheet


Photos and Videos: Aetnaville Bridge

Available Photo Galleries and Videos

Click on a thumbnail or gallery name below to visit that particular photo gallery. If videos are available, click on a video name to view and/or download that particular video.

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Bridge Photo-Documentation
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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Bridge Photo-Documentation
Mobile Optimized Gallery
A collection of overview and detail photos, taken July 31, 2007. View the photos for this bridge in a reduced size which is useful for mobile/smartphone users, modem (dial-up) users, or those who do not wish to wait for the longer download times of the full-size photos. Alternatively, view this photo gallery using a popup slideshow viewer (great for mobile users) by clicking the link below.
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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.
Browse Gallery With Popup Viewer

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