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Big Sandy Junction Railroad Bridge

Big Sandy Junction Railroad Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth and Rick McOmber

Bridge Documented: June 7, 2014

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Railroad (CSX) Over Big Sandy River and US-60
Catlettsburg and Kenova: Boyd County, Kentucky and Wayne County, West Virginia: United States
Structure Type
Metal 8 Panel Rivet-Connected Polygonal Warren Through Truss, Fixed and Approach Spans: Metal Deck Girder, Fixed
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1943 By Builder/Contractor: Virginia Bridge and Iron Company of Roanoke, Virginia

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Main Span Length
225 Feet (68.58 Meters)
Structure Length
2465 Feet (751.33 Meters)
Roadway Width
Not Available
5 Main Span(s)
NBI Number
Not Applicable

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)

Bridge Documentation

This bridge includes both spans over the river, and also a long series of approach spans at the western end that carry the bridge over a variety of streets, most notably of those being US-60. The approach is curved. The bridge is loosely divided between the polygonal Warren through truss main spans and deck plate girder approach spans. However, the end through truss spans are not polygonal. Additionally, some of the approach spans are through plate girders. The truss spans have a 1943 plaque listing the Virginia Bridge and Iron Company on them. However an approach deck plate girder span has a 1951 plaque listing the American Bridge Company. It may be that this bridge replaced a former bridge in sections, first the river spans in 1943 then the remaining spans in 1951. Also, given these dates, its possible the World War II steel shortage may have caused delays in the construction schedule, or forced the railroad to live with the old approach spans rather than replace them at the same time as the river spans.

The truss spans have a heavy skew.

This bridge for whatever reason has an incredible number of (as of 2014) newly installed security cameras. At least a half dozen cameras are on each of four poles erected next to the main spans. Its not known why this bridge is so closely watched.


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