The now-demolished Bridgeport Bridge carried US Routes 40 and 250 over the back channel of the Ohio River between Bridgeport, Ohio and Wheeling, West Virginia.
The first crossing of the backchannel of the Ohio River along the National Road at Canton, Ohio was proposed by William Lee Barron. 4 Barron proposed to contract a bridge for $68,500. Work began in 1836, but after calculating that he would lose money in the venture, Barron stopped work. The Zane brothers resumed construction and the crossing was completed on February 28, 1838.
Upon completion of the bridge, Canton was renamed to Bridgeport. 4
A new iron bridge was built by the Wrought Iron Bridge Company of Canton, Ohio in 1893 at the cost of $66,000. 4 The new crossing was necessitated to extend an electric streetcar line westward from Wheeling to Barton, Ohio.
The streetcar line was discontinued in 1948, and the wood bridge deck was replaced with steel grating in 1950. The floor beams had become structurally weak by 1987, and a new self-supporting, load-bearing Bailey truss was installed within the bridge.
A replacement steel-girder bridge was built in 1997, and the circa 1893 crossing was closed to traffic. 1 2 4 The bailey bridge and deck in the old bridge was removed in 2009.
Sensing a looming navigational hazard, the Coast Guard requested that the circa 1893 bridge be removed because of its advanced deterioration. In June 2011, Joseph B. Fay Company of Tarentum, Pennsylvania was awarded a demolition contract after submitting a bid of $672,222. 2 In mid-August, tree branches and other debris was removed from the crossing and the span was prepared for demolition by removing several structural elements of the bridge. Finally, on the morning of September 12, after approval from the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection, the Coast Guard, Norfolk Southern, and the Wheeling & Lake Erie Railroad, the Bridgeport Bridge was demolished in a controlled implosion. 3 4
- State: Ohio, West Virginia
- Route: US Route 40, US Route 250
- Type: Parker Through Truss
- Status: Demolished - Replaced
- Total Length: 684.5 feet
- Main Span Length: 209 feet
- Deck Width: 32.25 feet
- Navigational Clearance:
- “Bridgeport Bridge, Spanning West Channel of Ohio River, U.S. Route 40, Wheeling, Ohio County, WV.” Historic American Engineering Record. Lib. of Congress. 8 May 2006 Record.
- Reynard, Tyler. “Bridgeport Bridge May Come Down.” Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register 29 Aug. 2011.
- Connors, Fred. “Bridge Comes Tumbling Down.” Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register 13 Sept. 2011.
- Pokas, Betty J. “Long-Sanding Bridgeport Bridge Razed Today.” Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register 12 Sept. 2011.