Wheeling Suspension Bridge in West Virginia closes due to motorist weight limit and safety violations

Operators of vehicles over the bridge's weight limit have continued to ignore restrictions and have repeatedly driven on the bridge

September 25, 2019
Wheeling Suspension Bridge West Virginia
Image: Famartin [CCA-4.0] via Wikimedia Commons

After multiple incidents of continued disregard of weight limit and safety restrictions by motorists on the Wheeling Suspension Bridge, officials with the West Virginia DOT (WVDOT) are officially closing the structure to vehicular traffic until further notice.

"The whole reason we have the safety signs is because we wanted everyday motorists to be able to continue using this iconic and important bridge, while also stopping the heavier traffic that has caused structural damage in the past," Secretary of Transportation Byrd White said in a statement. "Unfortunately, the operators of those heavier vehicles continue to ignore our restrictions. While the bridge is absolutely in safe condition now, we need to make sure that we're doing everything we can to prevent future damage."

The historic bridge stretches 1,010 ft across the Ohio River, and remains the oldest vehicular suspension bridge in the U.S. that is still in use. It was constructed in 1847 and was part of the first major improved highway in the country built by the federal government.

According to WVDOT, the bridge will remain open to pedestrians and bicyclists. Earlier this year, the bridge had to be closed for six weeks after a tour bus—which far exceeded the posted two-ton weight limit—attempted to cross the bridge, only to get stuck under a barrier.

Upon the bridge being deemed safe and reopening to traffic in August, officials from the state's Division of Highways installed a height barrier with hard restraints to attempt to eliminate such overweight crossings. However, in the time since, operators of vehicles over the weight limit have continued to ignore the restrictions, and have repeatedly driven on the bridge.

The West Virginia Division of Highways is currently working on a long-term rehabilitation plan to sustain the bridge for the future.

-------

SOURCE: West Virginia DOT

IMAGE: Image: Famartin [CCA-4.0] via Wikimedia Commons

Related Articles

The Arlington Memorial Bridge Rehabilitation in Washington, D.C. won the Rehabilitated Bridge category at the 2022 PCI Design Awards.
The Arlington Memorial Bridge Rehabilitation in Washington, D.C. won the Rehabilitated Bridge category at the 2022 PCI Design Awards. Image credit: FHWA
The Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute (PCI) this week have announced some of the winning projects of the 2022 PCI Design Awards. The PCI Design…
January 20, 2022
The Maine Department of Transportation (MaineDOT) recently released the 2022 edition of its three-year work plan. The work plan includes all capital…
January 19, 2022
Contractor selected for I-90/S.R. 18 interchange project in Washington State
Image: Washington State Department of Transportation
The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) recently announced the selection of a design-build contractor for the I-90/S.R. 18…
January 17, 2022
The U.S. Department of Transportation today launched the Bridge Replacement, Rehabilitation, Preservation, Protection, and Construction Program, made…
January 14, 2022
expand_less