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Hawks Nest Bridge

Hawks Nest Bridge

The Hawks Nest Bridge carries CSX Railroad over the New River near Ansted, West Virginia. The Parker through truss bridge was constructed for the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway.

The original Hawks Nest Bridge, completed in 1872, was a wood truss variant. 1 On January 29, 1873, a ceremonial driving of the last spike at Hawks Nest railroad bridge completed the C&O from Richmond, Virginia to Huntington, West Virginia. The ceremony was for show as the line had been completed several days prior at a point near Fayette Station elsewhere in the New River valley.

The wood trusses were replaced with steel trusses in 1892. 1 2

During the construction of the Hawks Nest hydroelectric power plant and dam, the bridge and its approaches were adjusted to accommodate the higher water level that was impounded behind the dam. 2 The reconfigured bridge, completed circa 1930, included the addition of heavy steel girders, the removal of the walkway on the downstream side, and the partial replacement of the cut sandstone abutments with concrete with steel reinforcing.


  • State: West Virginia
  • Route: CSX
  • Type: Parker Through Truss
  • Status: Active - Railroad
  • Total Length: 640 feet
  • Main Span Length: 220 feet
  • Spans:


  1. Peters, J. T., and H. B. Carden. History of Fayette County, West Virginia. 1926.
  2. Hunter, William M. Cultural Resource Analysts, pp. 41–47, A Cultural Historic Survey for the Hawks Nest-Glen Ferris Hydroelectric Project.

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