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Elkhorn City Bridge West

Bridge Street Bridge

Elkhorn City Bridge West

Primary Photographer(s): Dave Michaels

Bridge Documented: November 9, 2008

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Bridge Street (Old KY-80) Over Russell Fork
Elkhorn City: Pike County, Kentucky: United States
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1912 By Builder/Contractor: Champion Bridge Company of Wilmington, Ohio

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Not Available or Not Applicable
Main Span Length
Not Available
Structure Length
Not Available
Roadway Width
Not Available
1 Main Span(s) and 2 Approach Span(s)
NBI Number
Not Applicable

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)
View Information About HSR Ratings

Bridge Documentation

This bridge contains an eight panel pin-connected camelback through truss with two seven panel pin-connected Pratt through truss spans. A plaque on the end of the bridge identifies the Champion Bridge Company as the builder and lists a 1912 construction date. As a three span truss bridge, this bridge is among the company's larger and more important surviving examples. The bridge is also noteworthy for having a pin-connected camelback truss span. Perhaps the most unusual thing however is that another similar bridge survives on the other side of the town.

The bridge is essentially abandoned and has been bypassed by a new bridge for quite some time although pedestrians can still walk on it. The bridge was converted for pedestrian use, however no additional work was done to the bridge. It connects downtown with a small railroad museum a short distance east of downtown Elkhorn City. It is a good example of reusing a historic bridge and yet not spending a lot of money to do it.

The bridge is unusual because despite a 1912 construction date, the bridge includes pin connections and lightweight truss members that are more like a bridge built perhaps 15 years earlier. One of the consequences of this later construction date is that the bridge is most likely steel. This seems readily apparent when looking at the condition of the bridge which is extremely poor, with some bottom chord connections displaying widespread 100% section loss to the point that some eyebars are on the verge of separating completely.  The bridge, which does not appear to have had paint for a long time, likely has deteriorated so severely because the bridge is steel, which is far more susceptible to rust than wrought iron was. Given the condition of the bridge, restoration of the bridge would likely require dismantling the bridge and having to replicate a lot of parts on the bridge. Despite such a potential challenge, restoration is still something to consider given the significance of the bridge and relative rarity of such bridges in Kentucky.


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