The Wallbridge Tunnel was constructed circa 1881 for the Chatteroi Railroad in Wallbridge, Kentucky.
The Chatteroi Railway was incorporated in March 1873 with the purpose of constructing a railroad from a point near the mouth of the Big Sandy River at the Ohio River to the Great Western Mining & Manufacturing Company in Lawrence County, with the goal of extending the line southward to the Virginia state line. 1 Despite some opposition to the construction of the Chatteroi, work began on the line on April 1, 1880. Louisa was reached on April 10, 1881.
South of Louisa, intense landowner opposition along Three Mile Creek and George’s Creek forced the realignment of the Chatteroi along the Levisa Fork to mines at Peach Orchard, which opened in 1883. 1 The realignment included the construction of a bridge by the King Bridge Company of Cleveland, Ohio, over the Levisa Fork at Walbridge.
The Chatteroi Railway went into receivership in July 1885 and was acquired by the Ohio & Big Sandy Railroad (O&BS), owned by the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway owner Collis P. Huntington, in August 1889. 1 The line was extended southward deep into the coalfields of southeastern Kentucky.
In 1914, the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway, the O&BS’s successor, constructed a new, stronger crossing over the Levisa Fork at Walbridge, including the conversion of the 1883 Walbridge Bridge for automobile use.
- State: Kentucky
- Route: KY Route 644, Formerly Chatteroi Railroad
- Type: Pratt Through Truss
- Status: Active - Automobile
- Total Length: 475'
- Main Span Length: 171.5'
- Deck Width: 12.5'
- Roadway Width: 11'
- Above Vertical Clearance: 14'
- “Railroading.” Kentucky’s Last Frontier, by Henry Preston Scalf, Overmountain Press, 2000, pp. 205–213.
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