17 votes

Bridgeport Bridge



Photo taken June 2005 by James Adorno

BH Photo #108138

Street View 


Bridgeport Bridge over the Ohio River- Controlled Demolition, Inc.

Controlled Demolition, Inc. (CDI) of Phoenix, Maryland, USA (acting as Implosion Subcontractor to Joseph B. Fay Company of Tarentum, Pennsylvania) performs the successful explosives segmentation and felling of the three (3), structural steel spans comprising the 640' long Bridgeport Bridge over the Ohio River in Wheeling, West Virginia at 8:55 AM on Monday, September 12, 2011.

Video by Controlled Demolition Inc., linked by Alexander D. Mitchell IV

Play video on YouTube


Lost three-span through truss bridge over Ohio River Back Channel on US 40 between Bridgeport and Wheeling Island
Wheeling, Belmont County, Ohio, and Ohio County, West Virginia
Demolished, years after being bypassed by a new US 40/US 250 bridge
Built 1893 by the Wrought Iron Bridge Co.; rehabilitated 1987 with load-bearing Bailey truss installed over the deck
- Wrought Iron Bridge Co. of Canton, Ohio
Three pin-connected, 9-panel Parker through trusses with vertical endposts
Length of largest span: 209.0 ft.
Total length: 684.5 ft.
Also called
Wheeling and Belmont Bridge (original name)
Approximate latitude, longitude
+40.07251, -80.73838   (decimal degrees)
40°04'21" N, 80°44'18" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
17/522308/4435837 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
635 ft. above sea level
Inventory number
BH 27297 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • August 3, 2022: New photo from Geoff Hubbs
  • June 6, 2022: New photo from Geoff Hubbs
  • March 2, 2019: New photo from Dana and Kay Klein
  • April 3, 2018: New photo from Dana and Kay Klein
  • September 9, 2015: New photos from Janis Ford
  • March 14, 2014: Photo imported by Dave King
  • September 22, 2011: New video from Alexander D. Mitchell IV
  • September 13, 2011: Updated by Nathan Holth: This nationally significant bridge has been demolished.
  • August 29, 2011: Updated by Nathan Holth: Updated planned demolition date.
  • November 14, 2010: New photos from Jason Smith
  • August 31, 2009: Bridge is slated for demolition this fall
  • July 27, 2009: New photos from James Baughn
  • March 19, 2009: Updated by Curtis Lee: added coordinates and elevation
  • October 10, 2005: Posted photos from James Adorno



Bridgeport Bridge
Posted September 14, 2011, by Jason Smith (JDSmith77 [at] gmx [dot] net)

Yes Ben, the finials and some important salvageable pieces of the bridge will be salvaged and given to the local museum and other groups interested in keeping a piece of now lost history. At least they will not throw the whole bridge away, which is a plus for many.

Bridgeport Bridge
Posted September 14, 2011, by Ben Tate

Oh. It was in Jim Grey's link posted below. :)

Bridgeport Bridge
Posted September 14, 2011, by Ben Tate

I read somewhere that the plan was to take the unique features off and save them for a museum or something.

Bridgeport Bridge
Posted September 14, 2011, by Chris P.

What a terrible waste. I would have thought they would at least save the ornaments on top....

Bridgeport Bridge
Posted September 14, 2011, by J.P.

thanks Nathan. Figured we have a barf bag, A toilet, So I figured throw in a epic fail here in there for the real stupid parties of people who refuse to save bridges.

Bridgeport Bridge
Posted September 14, 2011, by Nathan Holth (form3 [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

The bridge did have severe deterioration in several places, but we could have restored the trusses here in Michigan. The worst deterioration was in the floorbeams, and those often get replaced anyway in many rehabs. Pad weld the bottom chord eyebars, fabricate new floorbeams, etc, its all feasible and even cost-effective.

J.P.: I liked your little graphics!

Bridgeport Bridge
Posted September 13, 2011, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)


Todd Baslee photo

Bridgeport Bridge
Posted September 13, 2011, by Jim Grey (mobilene [at] gmail [dot] com)

I am so glad now that when I visited this bridge in May, I walked out on the pedestrian deck and took some pictures.


I'm no civil engineer but this bridge looked to be badly neglected to me, and I wondered whether it was even possible to restore that bridge anymore.

Bridgeport Bridge
Posted September 13, 2011, by J.P.

This says it all.....

Bridgeport Bridge
Posted September 13, 2011, by Ben Tate
Bridgeport Bridge
Posted September 13, 2011, by Ben Tate
Bridgeport Bridge
Posted August 29, 2011, by Ben Tate

I can't believe they're going to destroy this beautiful historic bridge.

Bridgeport Bridge
Posted June 2, 2011, by Jim Grey (mobilene [at] gmail [dot] com)

WTOV-TV in Steubenville is reporting that this bridge will be demolished in July, 2011.


Bridgeport Bridge
Posted June 22, 2010, by Nathan Holth (form3 [at] historicbridges [dot] org)


If you care about the Bridgeport Bridge, please contact anyone you can in the City of Wheeling and ask them to take ownership of the bridge and preserve it. WVDOH told me that they offered the bridge to the city for them to convert to pedestrian use and they refused. The city wrongly seems to think that the suspension bridge is the only bridge worth caring about.

As to your other comment, the bridge you have pictured is a bowstring built by Massillon Bridge Company, using their unique patented design. I offer a detailed writeup here: http://www.historicbridges.org/iowa/centralpark/index.php

The bridge possibly built from a ferris wheel that you are thinking of in Indiana is undoubtedly the Dunns Bridge: http://www.bridgehunter.com/in/jasper/dunns/

Bridgeport Bridge
Posted June 22, 2010, by lester (lestersloan110 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

Please dont tear down 160yr old bridge...so much history will be lost. needs to be restored so foot traffic can cross. maybe rebuild it somewhere else??? I would pay money to walk on it...we lost this bridge in our hometown of martinsville, IN due to a dump truck with a full load... the iron in this bridge used too be part of a famous ferris wheel???

Bridgeport Bridge
Posted March 9, 2010, by Nathan Holth (form3 [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

This bridge is still standing. Sounded like some people were uncertain about that. There is some interest in saving the bridge for pedestrian use, however a major barrier is that the community citizens (Wheeling residents) do not think the bridge is anything special. Seems a rather sheltered life for people to live that they would think a European style bridge in the USA is not unusual or noteworthy.

And yes, the decorative finials will be salvaged as part of demolition. The amended Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for this bridge which allows for demolition to take place stipulates that mitigation for the adverse affect of demolition will include the salvage of "architectural elements of the old Bridgeport Bridge for curation or reuse to the Wheeling National Heritage Area Corporation or its designee. As requested, the finials atop the bridge columns will be donated for reuse in the Wheeling Waterfront Park." They are to be removed in a way that will minimize damage.

Another often overlooked consequence of the demolition of this bridge is that a large quantity of valuable wrought iron will be destroyed as part of the demolition of this bridge. After conversing with many people at Michigan's 3 day historic bridge workshop, there is a growing concern at the destruction of wrought iron, since the material is becoming rare (with extremely rare and overseas exception, it is no longer made) and has the potential to be salvaged and reused for bridge preservation work and research elsewhere. If I had been a consulting party for Section 106 on this bridge, I would have requested additional mitigation that included WVDOT salvage and store some of the wrought iron on this bridge for free reuse by researchers, craftsmen, and contractors in historic bridge preservation related work.

Bridgeport Bridge
Posted March 6, 2010, by Lillie (lilitharam [at] hotmail [dot] com)

What a loss. Such beautiful and ornate metal work. I hope that some of it was salvaged if the bridge was lost. I wish history could be appreciated and not destroyed in favour of concrete abominations. Has it indeed been demolished? Thank you for at least preserving it's memory with the wonderful photos.

Bridgeport Bridge
Posted August 31, 2009, by Todd D. Walker (mrwalk08 [at] aol [dot] com)

It is a sad shame this ornate old truss couldn't be turned into a pedestrian crossing. I like its endposts with latticework, and decorative metal, finials, etc. Yes, the bridge will be history in a few weeks in favor of the UCEB planted next to it. When Wheeling does get rid of it, a goodhearted idea should be to preserve some of the ornate metalwork in some sort of a "memorial". Just an idea from a dedicated bridge lover like me.

Bridgeport Bridge
Posted October 11, 2006, by Jack Schmidt (jjturtle [at] earthlink [dot] net)

GPS N40 04.35 W080 44.35


Jack Schmidt

Bridgeport Bridge
Posted July 13, 2006, by James Adorno (bigloopycookie [at] aol [dot] com)

The Wheeling bridge also requires that cars stay 50 feet apart. It's in decent shape, give the fact that it is almost 160 years old. You can only cross one lane at a time. Because of the fact that it was the first span ever over 1000 feet, and the fact that it is the first bridge over the Ohio River, it is doubtful that they will get rid of that bridge any time soon. I have ben to the wheeling bridge, it is a great bridge.

Bridgeport Bridge
Posted March 17, 2006, by Tom

The Wheeling Suspension bridge is still very much still in use. It was revamped recently (1999 I think?) with some updated cables and decking. If you visit Wheeling again be sure to give it a cross.

Bridgeport Bridge
Posted February 8, 2006, by Larry Mallett (ohiobobcat [at] compuage [dot] com)

I remember crossing this bridge to visit my aunt and uncle on Wheeling Island. I was amazed by the floor in this bridge. Is the suspension bridge that connected the island with downtown Wheeling still in use?