The Walbridge Bridge was constructed circa 1881 for the Chatteroi Railroad in Walbridge, 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 tunnel 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 which included the abandonment of the Walbridge Tunnel. The tunnel was reused for automobile use.
- State: Kentucky
- Route: Walbridge Road, Formerly Chatteroi Railroad
- Type: Tunnel
- Status: Active - Automobile
- “Railroading.” Kentucky’s Last Frontier, by Henry Preston Scalf, Overmountain Press, 2000, pp. 205–213.