The Wheeling Suspension Bridge

Wheeling, WV

October 9, 2008

Back in 1863, Wheeling was in Virginia, a state ripped apart by the American Civil War at which time West Virginia was born!

Spans the main channel of the Ohio River at Wheeling, WV, and was designed by Charles Ellet, Jr. who also worked on the Niagara Falls Suspension Bridge.

The formal opening and celebration on Nov. 15 , 1849. For over 104 years, travelers crossing the bridge had to pay a toll. The tolls ended on June 15, 1953.

The bridge spans a distance of 1,010 feet (308 m) across the Ohio River so as to allow boats to pass underneath it. It remains the oldest vehicular suspension bridge in the USA that is still in use.

Currently, the bridge has a per vehicle weight limit of 4,000 lbs making it unsuitable for trucks, buses, or other heavy vehicles. Traffic is advised to keep at least 50 feet between vehicles. Additionally, traffic lights at both ends only allow a certain number of cars onto the bridge at one time.

The floor of the bridge is open grating. You can see the cars passing overhead.

The bridge is part of the Historic National Road. Here's where the cables for the bridge are mounted. (this pic found online)

In the 1970s, the bridge was in jeopardy from neglect and deterioration. It was slated for demolition!

The Friends of Wheeling petitioned the state of West Virginia for funds to repair the bridge. Extensive repairs were completed in 1983 and again for its 150th Birthday celebration in 1999.

Standing on the walkway looking down through the open grate road of the bridge to the river park below.

You can see my video of the bridge on You Tube 

by clicking on this link: 

No comments: