2 votes

Hi Carpenter Bridge (1928)


Looking North

Photo taken by Royce and Bobette Haley in July 2016


BH Photo #358488

Street Views 


This bridge was the identical twin to the Silver Bridge in downstream Point Pleasant, which collapsed on December 15, 1967, killing 46 people. This identical bridge, designed and built by the same engineers and contractors, was considered dangerous and was immediately closed and its main span demolished.

This truss approach span with a ramp down from the original bridge, was still useful to reach Middle Island, the largest of the 22 islands in the Ohio River Islands National Wildlife Refuge. The island is one of only two in the refuge connected to the mainland with bridges, providing access to 3.5 miles of hiking and biking trails, a 1.6-mile auto trail with interpretive signs posted at pull-off areas, abundant fishing access and a wildlife viewing blind overlooking a wetland. So it was kept in 1971, and a project is now underway to rehabilitate this original approach truss span. The ramp down from it will be replaced with a new ramp with a more gradual curve, so it can be negotiated by longer vehicles such as school buses.

The NBI dimensions do not appear to be accurate. Judging from the scale on Google Satellite View, it is about 100 feet long.


Lost eyebar suspension bridge over Ohio River. Remaining truss approach span crosses Ohio River Back Channel on CR 2/10 in St. Marys
St. Marys, Pleasants County, West Virginia, and Washington County, Ohio
Main span demolished; approach span closed for reconstruction
Future prospects
Remaining truss approach span currently under rehabilitation, with replacement of ramp down to island.
Built 1928; main span demolished 1971; truss approach span under rehabilitation 2019
Eyebar suspension main span with Pratt through truss approach span
Length of largest span: 212.9 ft.
Total length: 457.0 ft.
Deck width: 18.7 ft.
Vertical clearance above deck: 16.8 ft.
Eligible for the National Register of Historic Places
Also called
Ohio River Back Channel Bridge
Clarksburg-Columbus Short Route Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+39.39099, -81.20844   (decimal degrees)
39°23'28" N, 81°12'30" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
17/482050/4360187 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Raven Rock
Average daily traffic (as of 2015)
Inventory number
BH 35451 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection report (as of October 2017)
Overall condition: Poor
Superstructure condition rating: Poor (4 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Poor (4 out of 9)
Deck condition rating: Fair (5 out of 9)
Sufficiency rating: 37 (out of 100)
View more at BridgeReports.com

Update Log 

  • December 6, 2021: New photo from Geoff Hubbs
  • December 12, 2019: New photos from Roger Deschner
  • October 16, 2019: Updated by Roger Deschner: Renamed to name used by WVDOT. This was part of a much larger original bridge.
  • January 31, 2018: New Street View added by Dana and Kay Klein
  • July 13, 2016: New photos from Royce and Bobette Haley

Related Bridges 



Hi Carpenter Bridge (1928)
Posted March 12, 2022, by Roger Deschner (rogerdeschner [at] gmail [dot] com)

The new postcard view (#24) posted by Geoff Hubbs shows an interesting detail. The eyebar chains at the south end, extend past the truss approach span, to their anchorage on the higher south bank. This colorized photo shows the eyebar chains crossing the side channel right next to the superstructure of the truss approach span. It also shows the old ramp down to the island, which was replaced in 2019.

Hi Carpenter Bridge (old)
Posted December 12, 2019, by Roger Deschner (rogerdeschner [at] gmail [dot] com)

Visited this bridge, and found construction to be underway to rehabilitate it. I posted construction photos. Nice to see this old truss, with its significant history of being the approach span to the lost eyebar suspension Hi Carpenter Bridge, getting a proper full rehab. I spoke to a construction foreman, who knew all about this bridge's history, and its connection to the Silver Bridge collapse disaster. He said it would be finished by summer 2020, and it would be painted grey.

Ohio River Back Channel Bridge
Posted September 26, 2011, by Robert Carter (robbie197897 [at] hotmail [dot] com)

An interesting thing to note. This is all that is left of the Hi Carperter Suspension Bridge. It was considered the sister bridge to the ill fated Silver Bridge because they were both built in 1928, and they both used eyebars as opposed to wire suspension cables. It should be repainted silver to see how it would have looked back then.