The Blaine Hill “S” Bridge carried US Route 40 over Wheeling Creek in Blaine, Ohio. It is the state’s oldest sandstone bridge.
When the National Road (today’s US Route 40), the first federally funded highway in the nation, was first proposed in Belmont County, Ohio, a route was needed to climb Blaine Hill and cross Wheeling Creek. 1 A contract to build a bridge over Wheeling Creek and one mile of approach roadway at each end of the crossing was let in 1825 to James Lloyd and Robert Wilson of Hagerstown, Maryland. 2 Work wrapped up on the three-span, 345-foot sandstone arch bridge in 1826. It was the last of “S” bridges to be built along the National Road and the longest of such crossings.
The “S” Bridge was rebuilt in 1915. 2 Because of traffic congestion, the crossing was replaced with the Blaine Hill Viaduct in 1933. 3 The “S” Bridge remained in use by motorists until 1994. 1 It was later threatened with demolition because of its poor structural condition but was granted a reprieve in 1999 when the Blaine Bridge Community Preservation Project was founded.
The Ohio Department of Transportation began work on the reconstruction of the “S” Bridge in 2000, which included the rebuilding of the collapsing western approach, tuckpointing loose mortar, and reinstalling loose stone. 1
“Our Bridge was a vital link in United States transportation history, an essential connection to this country’s entire history. It is our responsibility, our obligation to preserve this treasured artifact, which tells the story of the American Adventure.”
–Sue Douglass, Chief Officer of the Ohio Department of Transportation, January 4, 2003 meeting of the Blaine Bridge Community Preservation Project
In 2003, the Blaine Hill “S” Bridge was designated as Ohio’s Official Bicentennial Bridge to commemorate the state’s 200 years of statehood. 1 Today, the Blaine Hill “S” Bridge is the oldest crossing remaining on the National Road.
- State: Ohio
- Route: US Route 40
- Type: Closed Spandrel Arch
- Status: Active - Pedestrian
- Total Length: 345 feet
- Navigational Clearance:
- Davis, Gary. “Ohio’s Historic Blaine Hill Bridge.” Highway History, Back in Time. Federal Highway Administration, 7 Apr. 2011. Web. 28 Aug. 2011. Article.
- “Blaine Hill S Bridge.” HistoricBridges.org. N.p., June 2010. Web. 28 Aug. 2011. Article.
- “Marker #11-7 Blaine Hill ‘S’ Bridge / Blaine Hill Viaduct.” Remarkable Ohio. Ohio Historical Society, 11 Jan. 2009. Web. 28 Aug. 2011.