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Cyrus Bridge


View North, Abutments And Deck

Photo taken for the Historic American Engineering Record.

Photo taken by Douglas I. Bailey, July 1992

View photos at Library of Congress

BH Photo #153549



The Cyrus Bridge is a simple steel and concrete structure along Whites Creek Road, which connected the village of Whites Creek and Wayne, the county seat. The Cyrus Bridge replaced a wooden bridge at the same spot (1903-1918) using the original stonework in its reinforced concrete abutments. The bridge was rendered useless in 1924 when the Norfolk and Western added a second track, including an underpass. The railroad later redirected the unnamed creek to protect the right-of-way, leaving the Cyrus Bridge without a road and without a creek to cross.

The bridge was owned by the Norfolk & Western Railway, which merged with the Southern Railway. One could assume that the Cyrus Bridge remains an asset of the Norfolk Southern.

The bridge remains in place, presered as an interesting example of the bridge builder's craft from the early 20th Century.

The Cyrus Bridge 

Written by Douglas L. Bailey, Consulting Archiologist, June 1992

Editor's Note: The following was condensed from a report created for HAER.

The Cyrus Bridge was an essential structure along Whites Creek Road, which connected the village of Whites Creek and Wayne, the county seat. Commercial goods intended for sale in Wayne were brought to Whites Creek by water, rail, and road. These were deposited nearby in private storehouses west of the bridge, and were transhipped by wagon and truck to Wayne. Some of these goods were sold locally in community stores both east and west of the bridge. The bridge was used briefly, 1918-1924, in connection with a grade crossing over a single track line, but was abandoned when an underpass was built to cross beneath new double tracks laid in 1924. The Cyrus Bridge succeeded a wooden bridge (1903-1918) at the same spot, and incorporated the 1903 stonework into its reinforced concrete abutments. The Cyrus Bridge is a fortuitously preserved example of the kind of small bridges that were built by the Champion Bridge Company (founded 1872), Wilmington, Ohio, the oldest bridge company in the U.S. Techniques of deck construction used on the single-span Cyrus Bridge are illustrative of those used by Champion even on its larger truss and longer deck bridges. Moreover, these techniques were adapted for use in floors and roofs of concrete and steel buildings of the period. The Cyrus Bridge is considered eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places as a contributing structure pertaining to the nearby village of Whites Creek.

The plan of the deck is a parallelogram 178 inches wide and 279 inches long. Its centerline and sides are oriented at a bearing of 275 (magnetic) its ends at bearing 205. The deck is made of standard structural steel and reinforced concrete. The structural steel when joined together was the form into which the concrete was poured. The edge of the deck is made of four angle irons and four chabbel beams. The channel beams are 10 inche wide, 3 inches high, and 1/4 inch thick. These four channel beams were laid on the sides, channels facing inward, end to end, to form a 14.7 by 23 feet rectangle. The rectangle is riveted together at its corners.

This documentation was undertaken by the Cyrus Dock Co., Inc. in June of 1992, in accordance with the Memorandum of Agreement of October, 1991, by the Army Corps of Engineers, Huntington District as a mitagative measure prior to the construction of the Cyrus Dry Dock Company's coal loading facility on the Big Sandy River. The Cyrus Bridge and its site will be avoided and preserved in situ.


Cyrus, Wayne County, West Virginia
Closed to all traffic
Built 1918; Abandoned 1924 but remains in place
- Champion Bridge Co. of Wilmington, Ohio
Total length: 23.3 ft.
Deck width: 14.8 ft.
Eligible for the National Register of Historic Places
Approximate latitude, longitude
+38.30633, -82.57221   (decimal degrees)
38°18'23" N, 82°34'20" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
17/362536/4240973 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Inventory number
BH 43946 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • January 29, 2010: Updated by J.R. Manning: Updated Ownership


  • J.R. Manning - thekitchenguy [at] sbcglobal [dot] net
  • HAER WV-54 - Cyrus Bridge, 195 feet West of intersection of County Road 19 & , Cyrus, Wayne County, WV