The Parkersburg-Belpre Bridge was built in 1916 as a suspension bridge, and was designed by Hermann Lamb and built by the John A. Roebling’s Sons Company.(2) The toll was lifted in the 1930s as tolls had paid off the original construction bonds, and in June 1937, the crossing was purchased by the state of West Virginia for $1.088 million.(3)
The bridge was demolished on March 16, 1980.
Construction of the replacement Parkersburg-Belpre Bridge began in 1976 and was opened to traffic on October 16, 1979 (3) at a cost of $17.2 million.(1) The new span, designed by Pavio Engineering Company of New York City and built by Harris Structural Steel Company of New Jersey, was built only 91 feet from the original crossing. It consisted of four lanes with a sidewalk and a 1,500 foot cantilever truss span.
The bridge was designated U.S. Route 50 until June 13, 2008, when the new Blennerhassett Bridge was completed south of the city as part of Corridor D. It carries Ohio State Route 618 today.
- Total Length (original): 2,825 feet
- Main Span Length (original): 800 feet
- Approach Span Lengths (original): 1,400 feet
- Auxiliary Span Lengths (original): 300 feet and 400 feet and 200 feet
- Width (original): 25 feet with 5 foot sidwalk
- Height (original): 134 feet (two towers), 35 feet above the low water mark
- Total Length (replacement): 2,519 feet
- Main Span Length (replacement): 1,500 feet
- Controlled Demolition Inc. “Parkersburg-Belpre Bridge.” Controlled Demolition Inc. N.p., 2011. Web.6 Dec. 2011. Article.
- “Parkersburg Suspension Bridge.” Structurae. Nicolas Janberg ICS, 2011. Web. 6 Dec. 2011. Article.
- Little, Christy, and Jeff Little. “Bridges, Boats and Streetcars.” Parkersburg in Vintage Postcards. N.p.: Arcadia, 2005. 121. Print.