The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Bridge carries Interstate 470 over the Ohio River between Belmont County, Ohio, and Ohio County, West Virginia.
Construction on the Interstate 470 bridge across the Ohio River began in 1975. 2 The crossing was scheduled to open by October 1981 but favorable weather and speedier construction pushed the opening date to June. 3
In April 1981, highway officials from both states postponed the opening because an inspection revealed that strands of five cables had frayed because of wind-induced vibration that caused friction against the steel superstructure. 2 Additionally, the Interstate 470 mainline to St. Clairsville had not been completed because of a lack of funds due to a low gasoline tax; 3 5 specifically, the state needed $47.3 million to finish the highway. 5
After the cables were repaired, the bridge was partially opened to traffic to and from OH Route 7. 3 The new four-lane steel through arch featured 4,300 tons of steel 6 and with 128 cables from U.S. Steel, with each cable containing 91 individual strands. 2 Originally estimated to cost $11.7 million to erect, 4 structural repairs with the cables and inflation pushed the final costs to more than $21 million. 2
On November 18, 1983, the new Interstate 470 bridge over the Ohio River was dedicated by West Virginia Governor Jay Rockefeller and Ohio Governor Richard Celeste. 1 The project also included the construction of six miles of interstate in West Virginia at the cost of $139 million and the completion of the WV Route 2 freeway at the cost of $42 million.
- State: Ohio, West Virginia
- Route: Interstate 470
- Type: Steel Arch
- Status: Active - Automobile
- Total Length: 1,344 feet
- Main Span Length: 784 feet
- Deck Width: 84 feet
- “I-470 bridge now crosses Ohio River.” News Journal [Mansfield], 20 Nov. 1983, p. 14A.
- “Costs for bridge soaring.” Marion Star, 24 Jul. 1983, p. 2A.
- “Suspension bridge has its problems.” News Herald [Port Clinton], 27 Apr. 1981, p. 7.
- “Waiting Has Ended! Interstate Is Here.” Sunday Gazette-Mail [Charleston], 22 Feb. 1976, p. 4F.
- “Ohio River Bridges May Lead Nowhere.” Times Recorder [Zanesville], 19 Nov. 1980, p. 2A.
- “I-79 Schedule Speedup Slated.” Charleston Daily Mail, 28 Apr. 1975, p. 1B.