The East End Bridge connects Huntington, West Virginia with Proctorville, Ohio spanning the Ohio River, and serves as part of a de-facto eastern bypass of the metropolitan region.
In 1972, discussions of a new eastern Ohio River bridge in Huntington, West Virginia were in full swing and were becoming controversial due to its proposed location. On February 1, the Herald-Dispatch reported that the proposed site of the bridge, just upstream of the mouth of the Guyandotte, did not confirm to the master plan of Huntington. The Huntington city comprehensive plan called for the construction of a new Ohio River span further upriver and outside the city limits, directly linked to Interstate 64 and forming part of an eastern bypass. Many favored a site through Lewis Hollow, one mile north of the city limits along West Virginia State Route 2. Such a bridge was proposed to cost $16 million and would be two-lanes with no shoulders.
The Coast Guard, however, requested a realignment of the piers on the proposed span. Two piers would be required instead of one central pier, for river navigation purposes. The pier was moved closer to the Ohio shore, and a pier on the West Virginia bank was moved 300 ft. back into the river. This eliminated a 800 ft. long horizontal navigation clearance.
Construction on the East Huntington Bridge began in 1983 and was completed in August 1985 at a cost of $38 million. The span, designed by Arvid Grant and Associated of Opympia, Washington, was the first bridge of its type in West Virginia, and only the third in the United States.
The bridge’s segments were placed together piece by piece. The segments, which weighed roughly 200 tons, were hoisted by crane and joined to a 360 foot, “A” shaped concrete tower already in the river. The design, stringing a bridge up by cable, was first used in Europe in the 1950′s using steel. Then in the 1970′s they began using concrete for these cable-stayed bridges. Huntington’s East End Bridge is the second concrete, cable-stayed bridge.(1)
Currently, the bridge exits onto U.S. Route 60 and West Virginia State Route 2, however, a later phase would have extended the span further south to the junction of U.S. Route 60 and 8th Avenue.
- Designation: WV 104, OH 607
- Crosses: Ohio River
- Bridge type: Cable-stayed suspension
- Number of lanes: 2
- Cost: $38 millon