I have placed a link to my FB Pic Album for the AO - West Fork River Tunnel which I explored on 2nd Jun 2018 below...
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There are more Tunnel and Bridges in my Pic Albums / Post, check it out and enjoy some of my adventures.
I spent most of my life walking these bridges from the Big Coal river side from our house up the tracks to the Little Coal river side to catch the school bus and to go to the little neighborhood grocery store. It was harsh in the winter with the snow and ice and very scary when the rivers were almost high enough to to meet each other at the point. My family would all get together and walk acroos the bridge to where they met and walk the path to what was known to all in the neighborhood as “the point”. One winter on my way to school with a friend and her mother, I tripped, fell and by the grace of god stopped just before going over the edge. I never thought much about about it as a kid, but now, I wish they could have been saved and turned into an historical site.
My parents used to call the state to have new boards put in place or whatever repairs needed to be taken care of. If you go to the 1964 edition of the Charleston Gazette (unsure of month) you will find a great story, a picture of my granny and me and a great picture of how it used to look when life was great as a child.
Somebody appears to have gotten a current photograph of the interior of the original 1852 Kingwood Tunnel. The tunnel appears to be in shockingly good condition save for being partially flooded.
What an incredible rail-trail this would be if only the railroad would allow a short parallel trail leading out of Tunnelton! Of course, this assumes that the tunnel could be opened and repaired safely.
Thanks to J.P. finding the local name, I found a few images.
Pretty massive structure, with an interesting roadway support.
This is a wonderful bridge in a very scenic setting. The roads leading here are rough and steep. Some of the vertical chords have been recently replaced, so they must not be planning to replace it anytime soon. Its the only crossing of the Cheat River between Albright and Ice's Ferry Bridge, a distance of 17 miles. Its a long way down to the water and that flimsy guardrail is barely 3 feet high!
That's usually the case.
Could the 1940 date be when the county took it on as a road bridge?
This isn't your normal everyday bridge. It is tough to get to but in a beautiful location. If you come here, you are in the wild part of Wild and Wonderful West Virginia.
Went down to see this and the Kile bridge 5/26/18. A new slab bridge was installed sometime in 2016. Interesting enough, the state decided to memorialize the crossing by installing a bronze plague at the east end of the new crossing.
I don't know if there's a "standard" name for this arrangement. If you "chase the loads" it functions like a stringer. If you place a load on the deck between floor beams you have to decide: do the stringers transfer the load through the floor beams down to the piers or up to the truss members. It looks as if they have tried to transfer at least some of the load down, removing load from the truss. One could probably remove the truss without the bridge coming down. Splitting hairs, really; the truss has been preserved.
I don’t see any steel stringers—It looks like the original floor system is still in place and it still functions as a truss, which is good news; however, a center bent support was added at some point to help increase load capacity.
This bridge appears to have been moved to steel stringer with truss decorations. But wanted to get second opinions.
I'll leave it to the rail experts to untangle the history, but based on comments on the linked page, it seems the bridge was built by the Georges Creek Railroad over the North Potomac rather the fairly small creek. The 1895 topo shows the RR as West Virginia Central and Pittsburgh. The other RR crossing in this area is marked as B&O in 1895.
Certainly a little more subtle than New River Gorge
My father designed the Vickers bridge in 1951 for Modjeski & Masters, Harrisburg, PA. It was his first design out of college. Attached is his original architects rendering for the presentation to West Virginia Department of Transportation. They were awarded the design contract and it was built in 1956.
The name of this bridge is Hi Carpenter Memorial Bridge although, as others have commented, I believe the pictures are of the wrong bridge.
There is also another short bridge that goes to an island in St Marys that I don't see listed here.
I first crossed this bridge on 28 Dec 2017 on a trip from Charleston to Huntington and saw the sign and told my wife I wondered if it was named after a guy I went thru Army Basic Training with at Fort Jackson in 1985. But I just now read the comments and I see he was a steel worker that died during the bridge construction. So now I wonder if the Donald Legg, who was also from West Virginia, could be related, not like its a common name like John Smith. The Don Legg I knew in Basic was a former A/C HAVAC tech who the Drill Sergeants told us wouldn't have to go thru AIT like the rest of us, his civilian job gave him more than enough work experience so after Basic he went straight to his job. Legg was older than us, I think he was in his early 30s, which is old when you're 19, I think we called him "Pappy". If you know a Donald Legg who is related to the man the bridge is named for, so he'll know for sure, tell him our Drill Sergeants were SSG McClure and SFC Blevins (Blevins was also from WV) and our unit was C-8-2, from May to July 1985. Tell him "Private Wrong" said hi. Since me and Legg went thru Basic together and I saw the bridge name, my first thought was he stayed in the Army, made a career and was killed after 9/11 in Iraq or Afghanistan (since those barracks need A/C) so WV named a bridge in his honor.
Sad history about the place with the hawks leaving due to the blasting and the incident with Union Carbide essentially murdering its workers.
What did the letter "C" designate on the side of the bridge pier?
Okay, when I clicked open in new tab on my mobile device the photo still opened. The other photos we're blank just like the one that you posted.
It appears in thumbnail view, but when you click on it, this appears:
Photo number 6 is still appearing on Pinsdaddy. I know this is still a work-in-progress, but I wanted to let you know so that you could troubleshoot.
I did report them to the site that I believe is hosting but the host emailed me back and said they couldn't do anything because they're just a host or some bologna like that. Essentially they are ignoring all dmca takedown requests.
There are a few blogs on the internet where people are discussing this new Pinsdaddy website and any possible sites that might be hosting it. A few people are kicking around the idea of a class action lawsuit. I don't know if I don't get that far but we shall see.
But for now they are still able to use Photo number 6 from this page.
This bridge is closed, demolished and a new bridge is being constructed. Opening date is December or January.
I would describe it as a replica (albeit using bolts instead of rivets) that reused a few original members in the replica. A very small number of members on the bridge are original. If you look close you will find a few Phoenix brands on the steel. http://historicbridges.org/bridges/browser/?bridgebrowser=wv...
Was this bridge rehabilitated, or was it completely remanufactured in 1997? The NPS ranger at the US 19 bridge overlook called it a "replica" bridge. I just visited this bridge, and I was amazed that nearly all rivets had been replaced with bolts - giving its built-up latticework a very bumpy appearance. Some parts are definitely original, such as the main upper and lower chords. However some members, such as eyebars, look very smooth and new. But I have to wonder, how much of it is actually original, other than the design?
BTW after 20 years, the 1997 wooden deck is definitely deteriorating.
If visiting, stop first at the NPS US 19 bridge overlook to pick up a free CD guided tour of Fayette Station Road.
https://www.theclio.com/web/ul/22490.48192.jpg shows footings for a roadway that would well exceed the width of an early car.
Thank you for the recommendation, I looked at the "Imagery" there appears to be a wooden ramp going up one side but I do not see evidence of a road. There appears to be a four foot walkway but the average car in the '20's was between five and seven feet. Again, hard to believe there was a road on the bridge. Impossible, perhaps not, I do not believe the "imagery" bears it out.
Try looking at the imagery in the link before commenting.
Hard to see how this had a one way road on it
There was a new bridge built by the adjacent private landowner. It is not open to the public.
Both the Little Coal and Big Coal pedestrian bridges are owned by the West Virginia Division of Highways. The Big Coal bridge is County Route 15/14, and the Little Coal bridge is County Route 13/22.
The land where the two bridges meet was donated to the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources in 2016 to become Forks of Coal State Natural Area. WVDNR has established a series of trails, including one which basically leads to the bridges. Now that the bridges abut a park and are more accessible, maybe there will be more interest in repairing them.
One has to consider a couple of other factors here as well...
*The bridge is still in use on Federal Highway US 250, and some of the strengthening can be attributed to that. The 2 concrete piers were added in 1934 probably for that very reason.
*After being damaged by flooding in 1985, the bridge was nearly destroyed in 1989. A gasoline tanker was filling underground tanks at a nearby gas station when the fuel overflowed down a hill and onto the bridge. A hot muffler from a car crossing ignited it and set the bridge on fire heavily damaging it. The people jumped from the car before it rolled back to the entrance of the bridge. The bridge was renovated and reopened in 1991 costing 1.4 Million dollars. And although steel was added underneath to strengthen the weakened superstructure, as much of the original trusses as possible were retained.
Given all that this iconic structure has been through, I think I can overlook the additions that have helped it survive. Many covered spans that have been through much less have unfortunately had much to all of their historic integrity lost.
Its a pretty mixed bag, with both variations in policy depending on what state you are in and what time it was done and the location/traffic of the bridge. For example in the 60's and early 70's it was very common in my home state of Vermont to add steel supports or even remove the entire bottom of the bridge and replace it with and independent steel and concrete bridge, retaining the authentic cover. At the time this was seen as progressive, but by the late 70's and 80's the sentiment moved more towards in-kind restoration and preservation. Today we have a comprehensive policy towards rehabilitation and maintenance of covered bridges that keeps them working as their original framers intended.
Cross over the Connecticut river into New Hampshire and there are only a handful of covered bridges with steel supports. Most of them were modified way back in the early 1900's with the addition of large laminated wooden arches. These modifications are old enough to be historic in their own right, and look more 'natural' then steel supports. Fortunately these arches strengthened them sufficiently to survive without further modification.
Certainly though it can be said that more covered bridges have been modified then any of us would like to see. I feel like there has been an increase in awareness for historic integrity of covered bridges though, so hopefully we won't see more of these modifications in the future.
That is possible. I am much more familiar with metal truss bridges in the Midwest.
Robert, I disagree because the overwhelming majority of bridges I have seen in many states do not have any steel underneath and the truss still supports the bridge. It takes away from the character of the bridge and to me, makes it less authentic. Perhaps different states just have different ideas about "restoration"
I have not looked at as many covered bridges as some people have on here, but in my limited experience it seems to me that a lot of covered bridges have steel stringers underneath them now. In fact, I would suspect that the overwhelming majority of them have steel stringers.
I visited this bridge a couple years ago. It is really an incredible structure despite having had a few reconstructions over the years.
Thanks for the update. It looks like the tunnel might be open again. That would be great news.
Visited this bridge on October 8, 2017 and it is open to traffic once again. I was disappointed to see how much metal work is running underneath the bridge supporting it.
This photo of the Carnifex tunnel was taken on October 7, 2017. (A fun note - I was sitting on a horse when it was taken!) Look for the old mile marker, #58 a few hundred yards before you get to the tunnel
Actual name of the bridge is the Kanawha Bridge and Terminal Company as per the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway Kanawha Subdivision Side track Record and Charts PGs 74-75. The Bridge was purchased by the C&O around 1922 to 25, and one can still read the C&O lettering on the bridge above Kanawha Boulevard, on a good day. Last trains to cross the bridge would have been in the late 80s.
Well, that is a shame...
Even if this bridge was no longer functioning as a truss, it was still a beautiful structure in a beautiful location.
I think this is the 1517 foot long Lough Tunnel on the Elk Creek Spur. Here's an old railway age article on its construction and opening.
Only 2 recorded deaths not 3. Harry Nichols and Arthur Boggs. The third person only suffered an ankle injury.
I would say the deck girder span is a modern span. I've seen spans similar to this with the fish belly type. Normally, they replace a truss.
Robert, the tunnel is fine/was looking at getting worked on in 2015, apparently, but the steel stringer replaced a 1950s tee beam per the NBI.
The NBI indicates a modern bridge here, but from what I understand, the trail goes through an old railroad tunnel. Are there some locals here who could chime in?
Railfans...your turn as well...
I'm not sure this tunnel is abandoned. It looks like it still has traffic.
"The name Hawk's Nest derived from the many fish hawks which inhabited the massive cliffs at this point. When the railroad began blasting in the area between 1869 and 1873, the hawks left the site and never returned. "
Interesting bridge.But who coined Hawk's Nest for this area is what I am wondering?
Actually, this bridge had once not been near Doane, but rather had been on the old county road at Missouri Branch between the old US 52 (now 152) and the old county road that was abandoned once the N&W Railroad pulled up the tracks in 1933. Once the tracks were removed, the right of way was turned over to the state Department of Highways and was a much better road than the old county road which winded along the hillside. Since this bridge was no longer needed, it was moved to its present location. You can see the old concrete supports in the creek at Missouri Branch behind the old stone house.
Thanks for the comment. Personal stories like this really illustrate the importance of our historic bridges.
Bridgehunter does not maintain any archives. The bridge company may, or may not have kept an archival collection. If they did have an archival collection, it is hard to say where it would be now.
I would suggest checking with the West Virginia Division of Culture and History as I believe that they maintain the archives for the State of West Virginia:
The Ohio County Library may be another good source.
Good luck with your search. If you find some further information, please feel free to contribute on here.
My third G-Grandfather came from Ireland and worked on the bridge from 1849 till his death as toll keeper in 1872.Would like to find information on the bridge CO.about employees etc etc.any information would be greatly appreciated.
From what I have heard and read (but can't relocate the media), the Kanawha County & the Lincoln County Boards of Education shared the cost of building these bridges so that students could get to school.
Correction - you list Blue Tom bridge/tunnel in the CSX Coal River subduction as being in Kanawha County. It is not in Kanawha County - it is in Lincoln County by better than 5 miles. When you turn up Coal River off of WV 214 you go about 3 miles or so and the blacktop ends and you're in a rock base gravel road. The county line is where the blacktop ends. At this point you're in Lincoln County. I'm positive of this - my grandparents live in the first house in Lincoln County after you crossed the county line back in the 1960s-70s.
Closed for emergency repairs (as of January 27, 2017): http://www.transportation.wv.gov/highways/districts/district...
The bridge is currently undergoing rehabilitation with pedestrian bump-outs being added: http://www.transportation.wv.gov/highways/engineering/commen...
Stopped by just before Christmas 2016 to visit these bridges. They now have metal placed across the entrances to indicate they can no longer be used. Visited with a local that was walking his dogs and he says that the wood is getting so bad that "they" decided that the bridges were no longer safe to use. As they are both semi abandoned, not sure who's responsibility it is to maintain them. Suspect they were built by a private company in the beginning.
This fellow also said that there was never a coal settlement where the bridges are, rather, a Sand Company (road to the North end of the Little Coal River bridge is named "Sand Plant Road") that there had been a company there that used barges to dredge the river to get sand from it. He further claimed that legend holds there is still a barge in the river that was left and had sunk. He alleged that the Sand Plant operation had preceded the rail road tracks that exist today on the north end.
Stopped by just before Christmas 2016 to visit and these bridges. They now have metal placed across the entrances to indicate they can no longer be used. Visited with a local that was walking his dogs and he says that the wood is getting so bad that "they" decided that the bridges were no longer safe to use. As they are both semi abandoned, not sure who's responsibility it is to maintain them. Suspect they were built by a private company in the beginning.
This fellow also said that there was never a coal settlement where the bridges are, rather, a Sand Company (road to the North end of the Little Coal River bridge is named "Sand Plant Road") that there had been a company there that used barges to dredge the river to get sand from it. He further claimed that legend holds there is still a barge in the river that was left and had sunk. He alleged that the Sand Plant operation had preceeded the rail road tracks that exist today on the north end.
Passed under this bridge many times in my youth on the Ohio side. Awesome to see that it's as old as it is and is still in great shape.
This has been gone since 2012-13. Drove over it in May '12, and the replacement bridge was well under way.
Not sure of the prospects for this bridge. New bridge being built beside it now (2016)
Description is absolutely correct. There's short sections of earth embankment between the main B&O Potomac River as well as the Potomac St overpass. All 3 are separate structures when you're standing there.
Kile Bridge in this same county was bypassed on a new alignment and left standing. I see no reason why the same thing couldn't take place here!
Its nice they are trying to raise awareness of both the history and the often ignored weight limit. My first visit to the bridge was memorable, some local saw me taking pictures and asked me what was so special about it. Funny how people can be so ignorant.
Police were handing these out as we drove over the bridge in mid May/2016
Hi Irma Hale and Ben Tate. I have added the NB Bridge to the site. Irma Hale your photos numbered 1, 2 and 4 are of the north Bound bridge http://bridgehunter.com/wv/mercer/bh72888/
Ben Tate your photos 5 and 6 are of the NB bridge http://bridgehunter.com/wv/mercer/bh72888/
Thanks Robert, I appreciate the info.
So, what happened to J.R. Manning? I miss his contributions. He always had good stuff, both of the informative and of the humourous.
I lived in Addison, Ohio(1979-81). With traffic lights at both ends, you were guaranteed a stop on this bridge. I remember waiting on this bridge as a coal truck went by, the bridge shook so hard, my head hit the the car ceiling.(This was before seatbelts.) During this time, a police officer also fell thru the grating on the bridge & broke his leg. At 50, I still freak on suspension bridges! When I talk about this bridge, I know people think I've exaggerated, But here is the proof of its existance & POOR rating. I can't believe it took another 20 years to build a new one.
Thanks anonymous. You beat me to it. I just happened to find the tunnel by virtue of Google Maps.
I'm trying to find a date when this tunnel was built.
Great news, driver education and enforcement of weight limits!!:
What is the approximate height of the bridge at the roadway?
This tunnel is lost deeper in time as compared to the other Parkersburg Branch tunnels that were either daylighted or bypassed with a cut in the tunnel project of 1963. B&O daylighted Tunnel#23 in 1943 because of frequent problems with backwater flooding from Walker Creek/ Little Kanawha River.
That is the original B&O cantilever bridge that spanned the Kanawha River. As steam power became larger and heavier through the years, this structure restricted what types could run the Ohio River line . In 1947, it was replaced with the heavy truss bridge that exists today and opened the line for 2-8-2 Mikes, 4-6-2 Pacifics, etc.
Save this beautiful historical bridge. It's a beauty from another era. It's painful to see how easy people do away with the old and replace with new and boring. I adore this beautiful bridge and hopefully someday, if someone doesn't do away with her, I get to see this old bridge in person.. She still stands now in need of many repairs but look at what can be done and the results.. Don't elect a twenty year old who is too young to appreciate historical structures in that town to make vital and horrible decisions. It's like throwing a beautiful priceless piece of art in the trash.. Restore and paint the Aetnaville Bridge.. Don't destroy...... Restore....
This bridge is now closed to pedestrians as each portal is fenced off.
As far as I know, there is no access to the eastern portal. I am not sure if it is still visible at the surface.
Just curious, is there access to the east portal? Thanks.
Those tracks look remarkably healthy for a tunnel which has been abandoned since 1950. Is the marker in the right place?
Nice find Luke!
This listing sates 'scheduled for replacement':
Yup, the twin to Tug Fork.
It did have a metal grate floor. It made driving over it a little unnerving, especially when the grates shook and rattled.
Sure looks to be a Whipple with a Camelback format.
Nice. Is that a camelback Whipple?
Postcard view of what I believe was the original bridge at this location.
More likely they just had similar designs... the additional photos in the nomination which were not available when I earlier commented on this bridge, show a more traditional design of lower chord connection than Columbia Bridge Works ever used in this period. I have only seen one other bridge from this period of Penn Bridge, although my findings was the company at the time was T. and S. White, for Timothy B. White and Samuel P. White, not just T B White.
While it looks like a CBW, it was erected by T.B. White and Sons:
Is it possible they were initially buying kits from other fabricators and simply erectors until they moved across the river and became Penn Bridge Co.?
Yes, this used to have a toll on it. If my memory serves me correctly ( I was pretty young at the time) there was a bus used a house that the toll collector lived in. Many of the local residents still call it the "Silver Bridge" since it was silver for many years. It was painted green sometime in the early 1980's or so.
Closed due to accident then fixed and reopened in two days:
Bridge is currently being demolished and site is being prepared for construction of replacement span.
If you actually want to see real photos of this bridge they are here... the bridge is altered, but top chord end post looks much like Columbia Bridge Works https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Whipple_Truss_%2...
Actually, per the 2013 Historic Bridge Inventory, this bridge is a pre-stressed concrete channel beam. Perhaps it once functioned as a Burr Arch, but like many covered bridges, it is today merely a decoration on top of a modern bridge.
Is this bridge going to be reopened, or replaced? Is so when. It sure is an inconvience having to go around.