Prince Bridge

    Prince Bridge/Thomas Buford Pugh Bridge

    The Prince Bridge formerly carried WV Route 41 over the New River in Prince, West Virginia.

    In September 1928, the Prince Bridge Company was incorporated by Frank and James F. Prince, W. L. Lee, J.D. Harell, and W.D. Lawton with the purpose of building a roadway bridge across the New River at Prince. 2 The bridge’s application was approved by Patrick Hurley, the Assistant Secretary of War, in April 1929 and construction began in 1931.

    The new Prince Bridge was completed in 1932. 2 It consisted of seven spans: four simple I-beams and three Parker through trusses. 1 As it was privately built and financed, a 25¢ toll for motor vehicles and a 5¢ toll for pedestrians were levied to pay off the construction bonds. 2 The tollbooth was connected to the bridge rail on the northwest side.

    The bridge’s tolls were removed in August 1946 after the bonds had been paid off, collecting a total of $246,350. 2 When the tollbooth closed, the building became the property of the last toll keeper who rolled it over on logs across WV Route 41 and used it as a playhouse for the owner’s daughter.

    In 1995, the Prince Bridge was dedicated for Thomas Buford Pugh, a local schoolteacher and World War II veteran who died in 1994. 2

    In September 2011, critical structural deficiencies were discovered during an inspection which required the state to reduce the bridge’s weight limit to 3 tons and the vertical clearance was lowered artificially to nine feet to discourage trucks from utilizing the crossing. 1

    The Prince Bridge was demolished in 2015 after it was replaced with a new two-lane crossing. 3


    • State: West Virginia
    • Route: WV Route 41
    • Type: Parker Through Truss
    • Status: Demolished - Replaced
    • Total Length: 734 feet
    • Main Span Length: 201 feet
    • Deck Width: 20 feet
    • Above Vertical Clearance: 11.3 feet


    1. Bailey, Gregory L. “Informational Workshop Public Meeting Thomas Buford Pugh Bridge.” West Virginia Department of Transportation, 15 Feb. 2012.
    2. “Thomas Buford Pugh Bridge.” West Virginia Department of Transportation, Mar. 2015.
    3. Thomas Buford Pugh Bridge.” Highways Through History.

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