The Chelyan Bridge carries WV Route 61N over the Kanawha River in Chelyan, West Virginia.
The original Chelyan Bridge was constructed across the Kanawha River at Chelyan in 1928-29 to connect the growing communities along the upper Kanawha Valley. 1 Designed by the J.E. Greiner Company of Baltimore, Maryland, and erected by the General Contracting Corporation for the Midland Trail-Kanawha River Bridge Company at the cost of $592,112.73, the seventeen-span crossing consisted of three cantilevered Pennsylvania through trusses, with a 450′ main span flanked by two 200′ spans, a 13-span, 487′ south approach viaduct, and an 18′ north approach span over railroad tracks. Its piers were arranged to facilitate barge traffic that flowed into the nearby Lock No. 4 along the Kanawha.
The Chelyan Bridge was a tolled structure, and a toll house on the south end provided shelter for toll collectors. 1 Tolls were removed in 1946 when the crossing was acquired by the West Virginia State Road Commission for $431,900.
A new concrete deck replaced the original wearing surface in 1963, and a new sidewalk was constructed in 1970. 1 Deteriorated components, including diagonals, laterals, sway frames, the ends of stringers, and decking were replaced in 1985-88 to strengthen the bridge and extend its lifespan by ten years. By the 1990s, the Chelyan Bridge had only a 12-ton weight limit, down from 40 tons.
Construction of a new Chelyan Bridge began in May 1995. Designed by HDR Engineering of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the $25.9 million crossing opened to traffic on June 30, 1997. 2
- State: West Virginia
- Route: WV Route 61N
- Type: Warren Through Truss
- Status: Active - Automobile
- Total Length: 1,355 feet (1929); 2,224 feet (1995)
- Main Span Length: 450 feet (1929); 594 feet (1995)
- Deck Width: 56 feet (1995)