The Chatteroi Railway was established in 1873 to build a railroad from the mouth of the Big Sandy River to the Great Western Mining & Manufacturing Company in Lawrence County, Kentucky. Eventually, the railway planned to extend as far south as the Virginia state line. However, landowners’ opposition to the south of Louisa caused the Chatteroi’s realignment. This included building a three-span truss bridge and tunnel at Walbridge.
The Chatteroi Railway went into receivership in 1885 and was acquired by the Ohio & Big Sandy Railroad (O&BS) in 1889. The O&BS expanded the line deeper into the coalfields. In 1914, the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway, the O&BS’s successor, built a new and stronger crossing over the Levisa Fork at Walbridge. This construction also included a bypass of the Walbridge Tunnel, which was then repurposed for automobiles.