Sunday, March 27, 2022

1955 I-70 Fort Henry Bridge over Ohio River in Wheeling, WV

The state border is on the west side of the Ohio River so this bridge is in Wheeling, WV. It is over the East Channel between the downtown area and Wheeling Island.

This bridge replaced the Steel Bridge.

Boston Public Library Flickr Photo via BridgeHunter, License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY)

It was originally built for a US highway. (US-40 and/or US-250 depending upon which year you read the plans.) The absence of a merge lane reminds me that 1955 is old for an Interstate bridge and that it took some accidents before highway designers learned the importance of merge lanes.
Street View, Oct 2021

I was surprised to see that a large, tie-arch bridge was so old. I thought they were a rather recent development. HistoricBridges agrees that this is a rare example of a historic steel arch bridge. The thing that is a recent development is building them on the shore and floating them and jacking them into place. HistoricBridges notes that this bridge was built with falsework.

Note the pretty blue paint in the above image of the missing merge lane. The bridge used to be green. And it did need a paint job. The beams appear to be massive, and they are riveted.
Street View, Jul 2019

Pittsburgh Press, Oct 3, 1954 via HistoricBridges

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