The Aetnaville Bridge crosses the west channel of the Ohio River between the former village of Aetnaville in Bridgeport, Ohio and Wheeling Island in Wheeling, West Virginia.
Constructed in 1890 to 1891 by the Youngstown Bridge Company of Youngstown, Ohio 5 with components from the Wrought Iron Bridge Company of Canton, Ohio, 1 the Aetnaville Bridge consisted of seven pin-connected Pennsylvania through trusses supported with sandstone piers. The crossing was used by the Wheeling Railway Company to run interurbans between Wheeling and Bridgeport, and later to satellite cities in both West Virginia and Ohio. 4 The interurban was reorganized as the Wheeling Traction Company in 1899.
All streetcar service ceased in the region in 1937 and the Aetnaville Bridge was converted for automobile use 4 with tolls levied. 5 The tolls were removed in June 1953.
The three western trusses were removed and reconstructed with steel girders when the OH Route 7 freeway was completed through Bridgeport in 1969. Because of structural deterioration, the crossing was closed to automobile traffic in December 1988.
The West Virginia Department of Highways (WVDOH) considered having the Aetnaville Bridge demolished in May 2015. 3 A detailed visual inspection in October revealed severe structural issues that led the crossing to be closed to pedestrians on January 20, 2016. 2
- State: Ohio, West Virginia
- Route: WV Route 252
- Type: Pennsylvania Through Truss
- Status: Abandoned / Closed
- Total Length: 1043 feet
- Main Span Length: 200 feet
- Roadway Width: 18 feet
- Connors, Fred. “Aetnaville Bridge in Bridgeport To Be Inspected” The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register. 5 Oct. 2015. Web.
- Warner, Mollie. “Troubled Bridge Over Water.” The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register. 21 Jan. 2016. Web.
- Connors, Fred. “Highway Officials Eye W.Va. Bridges.” The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register. 1 Nov. 2015. Web.
- Fluharty, Linda Cunningham. “Trolleys & Trains, Wheeling, WV – Wheeling Area Genealogical Society.” Virtual Wheeling Area Trolley Museum. Web. 19 Feb. 2016.
- “WVDOH Seeks a party to acquire the historic Aetnaville Bridge.” West Virginia Department of Transportation.