Wednesday, September 21, 2016

W&LE/B&O Viadact and Bridge over the Ohio River in Bellaire, OH

(Bridge Hunter, Historic Bridges, Satellite)
Birds Eye View
Wheeling and Lake Erie now has the former B&O assets in Bellaire, OH. If you look at a Google Photo, you can see the piers of the truss bridge are tall. This was probably not done for shipping but to maintain a level route from one river bank to the other. To maintain a level route, a viaduct had to carry the track across Bellaire, which is down in the river valley.

Donald Burden posted six photos of that viaduct with the comment:
Baltimore & Ohio's Great Stone Viaduct at Bellaire, Ohio. Built 1867-70, this sandstone structure contains 43 arches on the Ohio side of the river. Each arch ring contains 37 stones, representing the 37 states that, at that time, comprised the U.S. The eastern half remains active, but the tracks have been removed from the western half. Worth an inspection if you find yourself in the area.
The track curing north from the viaduct is still used, so that is why the eastern half is used. The track curving south is abandoned, so that is why the western half is unused. Fortunately, the bridge is still used.

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Update:
Railroad Images of Bygone Days posted
[A Google Map search for Belair offers Bellaire.]

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