Big Sandy Junction Bridge

    Big Sandy Junction Bridge

    The Big Sandy Junction Bridge carries CSX Railroad over the Big Sandy River between Catlettsburg, Kentucky and Kenova, West Virginia near the Big Sandy Junction.


    The Big Sandy Junction Bridge carries CSX Railroad over the Big Sandy River between Catlettsburg, Kentucky and Kenova, West Virginia near the Big Sandy Junction.

    The first through train of the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad (C&O) operated between Richmond, Virginia and Huntington, West Virginia on January 29, 1873. 3 There were no connections with western railroads at Huntington, making the C&O essentially a branch line extending from Richmond. The company acquired full control of the Elizabethtown, Lexington & Big Sandy Railroad (EL&BS), which was attempting to construct a railroad between Lexington, Kentucky, and the Big Sandy River near Catlettsburg, opposite of Kenova, West Virginia. The EL&BS went as far as to construct piers for a railroad crossing of the Big Sandy but the superstructure was never completed. 4

    After the EL&BS was acquired by the C&O, the line was finished between Lexington and Ashland in December 1881. 2 At Ashland, the railroad connected with the C&O and crossed over the mouth of the Big Sandy River into West Virginia via a bridge erected by the Pencoyd Bridge & Construction Company in 1894. 5 6

    The bridge proved insufficient to carry the C&O’s Allegheny class locomotives because of the articulation and weight, 5 and the Big Sandy River crossing was reconstructed beginning in 1943 when the main spans over the river were replaced with Warren through truss spans fabricated by the Virginia Bridge & Iron Company of Roanoke, Virginia. The approach deck plate girder spans were built in 1951 by the American Bridge Company. 1 The original c. 1894 truss spans were relocated to serve the newly christened C&O Levisa Subdivision in Pike County.


    Information

    • State: Kentucky, West Virginia
    • Route: CSX
    • Type: Plate Girder, Warren Through Truss
    • Status: Active - Railroad
    • Total Length: 2,465 feet
    • Main Span Length: 225 feet

    Sources

    1. Holth, Nathan. “Big Sandy Junction Railroad Bridge.” Historic Bridges, 7 Jun. 2014.
    2. “Chesapeake & Ohio Railway.” The Railroads of Kentucky During the 1940s & 1950s, by Charles H. Bogart, Lulu.com, 2018, p. 17.
    3. Coleman, Christopher D. “W&H MAIN YARDS: Guide to Appalachian Coal Hauling Railroads.” Webville and Hypertext Railroad Company, 2004.
    4. “Chesapeake and Ohio Historical Newsletter.” Chesapeake and Ohio Historical Newsletter, 1975, p. 8.
    5. Young, Everett N. “The Big Sandy Subdivision.” Chesapeake and Ohio Historical Newsletter, Oct. 1993, pp. 3-12.
    6. LaBreche, Dennis. “A History of the Levisa Subdivision.” Chesapeake and Ohio Historical Newsletter, Nov. 1983, pp. 10-13.

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