PaintSquare.com
Follow us on Twitter Follow us on LinkedIn Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram
Search the site

 

Download our FREE eResource: Specifier's Choice Guide. Get it now.

Coatings Industry News

Main News Page


Corrosion Closes Oldest Vehicle Bridge

Friday, March 8, 2013

Comment | More

A snapped cable has forced the closure of the oldest vehicular suspension bridge still in use in the United States, West Virginia transportation officials said this week.

The 164-year-old Wheeling Suspension Bridge is closed to vehicle and pedestrian traffic and won't reopen for at least three to four weeks while repairs are made to the busted cable, which was discovered during a routine inspection Saturday (March 2), according to WV Division of Highway officials.

Corrosion caused the cable to break, Dave Sada, DOH District 6 Bridge Engineer, told local reporters. The cable is not load bearing but keeps the bridge deck from swaying.

Historicbridges.org / Nathan Holth and Rick McOmber

The Wheeling Suspension Bridge is the oldest vehicular suspension bridge still in use in the U.S. The bridge was closed after a corroded cable broke.

Damage Inspected

Highway officials and a team from HDR Engineering in Pittsburgh met Monday (March 5) to inspect the damage.

According to the Highway Department, the cable snapped on the northeast, river-facing side of the bridge's tower. The cable is anchored to the other side of the tower and passes under two larger cables.

The bridge has a total of 12 iron cables—10 large and two small—suspended from its towers. In 1983, the cables were examined and determined to be in good condition; however, the cables were then rewrapped with a modern, elastomeric plastic, according to a history by the Ohio County Public Library.

Repair options include reattaching the cable to its original anchor point, running over the top of the larger cables instead of underneath, or anchoring it to the river-facing side of the tower, Sada has told news outlets.

However, it is too early to estimate a repair cost, Sada told The Herald-Star of Steubenville, OH.

State highway officials had already been planning to clean, paint, upgrade lighting, and make minor structural repairs to the span. That work will cost up to $8.2 million and is expected to start later this year, Sada told the newspaper.

U.S. Public Domain

Flooding in 1852 is shown in this picture of the bridge, which is a National Historic Landmark and Historic Civil Engineering Landmark.

Bridge History

The Wheeling Suspension Bridge spans the main channel of the Ohio River at Wheeling, WV. The main span is 1,010 feet from tower to tower. The east tower rests on the Wheeling shore, and the west tower on Wheeling Island. Construction began in 1847 and was completed in 1849.

In 1854, a strong windstorm destroyed the bridge deck, after which it was rebuilt, followed by several years of improvements. The deck was completely rebuilt in 1956, and the road was widened from 16.25 feet to 20 feet.

The road and sidewalk were reconstructed with an open steel grating. In the 1980s, the West Virginia Division of HIghways restored the bridge.

The bridge is the oldest vehicular suspension bridge in the U.S. still in use and is listed as both a National Historic Landmark and Historic Civil Engineering Landmark.

Historicbridges.org / Nathan Holth and Rick McOmber

Highway officials do not yet have a cost estimate for repairing the cable, which is not load-bearing. The bridge was built in 1849.

Built before most automobiles, the bridge was designed to carry the weight of a horse and buggy. It currently has a per-vehicle weight limit of 4,000 pounds. Traffic lights at either end limit the number of cars on the bridge at one time, and drivers are advised to keep at least 50 feet between vehicles.

   

Tagged categories: Bridges; Corrosion; Department of Transportation (DOT); Historic Preservation; Historic Structures; Maintenance programs; Structural steel

Comment Join the Conversation:

Sign in to our community to add your comments.

Advertisements
 
SAFE Systems, Inc.
 
Portable Blast &
Recovery Equipment
 
Trailer or skid mounted blast and recovery equipment. Systems designed for maximum versatility, environmental compliance
and overall cost savings.
Call 1-800-634-7278
 

 
Detail Masters
 
Overspray Removal
 
We offer professional, turnkey service and unparalleled quality!
Our process can save hundreds— even thousands of dollars. It's fast, environmentally safe and 100% guaranteed.
 

 
SABRE Autonomous Solutions
 
Safety, Productivity, Quality. Robotic Blasting
 
Learn how this simple to use, field deployed, automatic robot is eliminating hazards in major confined, cluttered and complex surface preparation projects.
 

 
Industrial Vacuum Equipment Corp.
 
Hurricane Vacuums
& Dust Collectors
 
Vacuum and dust collector hose, filters and related accessories.
IndustrialVacuum.com
 

 
Termarust Technologies
 
Termarust (HR CSA) Chemically Stops
Active Corrosion
 
Arch truss treated with Termarust's (HR CSA) in 2003. This steel arch bridge is rust free on all surfaces including the crevice corroded joints and connections.
 

 
Safway Services
 
Your Access Advantage. QUIKDECK®
 
Provides safe, factory-floor-like working conditions. Can be engineered to fit almost any shape, structure or size. Modular platform easily assembled from just a few basic components. Excellent containment. Applications include vessels, offshore rigs and bridges.
 

 
Tnemec Company, Inc.
 
Online Coating Courses from Tnemec
 
For decades, Tnemec has offered its expertise to clients presenting face-to-face coatings courses. Now, these presentations are available to anyone for CEUs at Tnemec University.
 

 
Mitsubishi Gas Chemical America
 
Performance Amine 1,3-BAC
 
A highly reactive cycloaliphatic diamine offering superior performance. Reasonable cost and curing efficacy makes it suitable for all types of epoxy resin applications.
 

 
W Abrasives
 
Steel Abrasives from
W Abrasives
 
As the global leader in steel abrasives, W Abrasives material is the efficient and eco-friendly solution blasting with you to reach the perfect profile.
 

 
US Minerals
 
US Minerals -
Black Magnum
 
With nationwide production and distribution capabilities, U.S. Minerals supplies a complete range of coal slag and other abrasives to meet all of your blasting needs.
 

 
 
 

Technology Publishing Co., 2100 Wharton Street, Suite 310, Pittsburgh PA 15203-1951

TEL 1-412-431-8300  • FAX  1-412-431-5428  •  EMAIL webmaster@paintsquare.com


The Technology Publishing Network

Durability + Design PaintSquare the Journal of Protective Coatings & Linings Paint BidTracker

 
EXPLORE:      JPCL   |   PaintSquare News   |   Interact   |   Buying Guides   |   Webinars   |   Resources   |   Classifieds
REGISTER AND SUBSCRIBE:      Free PaintSquare Registration   |   Subscribe to JPCL   |   Subscribe to PaintSquare News
MORE:      About PaintSquare.com   |   Privacy policy   |   Terms & conditions   |   Site Map   |   Search   |   Contact Us