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Wheeling Suspension Bridge

Wheeling Suspension Bridge, Spanning East channel of Ohio River at U.S. Route, Wheeling, Ohio County, WV(HAER, WVA,35-WHEEL,35-59)

General Information

Structural Type: original configuration:
Suspension bridge
current configuration:
Suspension bridge with cable-stays
Function / usage: Road bridge
Built: 1847 - 1849
Status: in use

Geographic Information & Related Structures

Location: Wheeling, Ohio County, West Virginia, USA, North America
  • Ohio River
Coordinates: 40° 4' 13.00" N    80° 43' 36.00" W

Technical Information


main span 308 m
number of cables 2 x 6
deck deck depth 7.3 m


deck wrought iron
towers masonry


17 May 1854

In a strong wind that blows during most of the day, the bridge deck begins to oscillate, which the local inhabitants seem to like to experience. However in the afternoon the deck is suddenly completely overturned, ripping most of the suspension cables out of their anchorages.

26 July 1854

After salvaging the wreckage Charles Elliot and Captain McComas inaugurate a reconstructed 14-foot-wide temporary bridge despite an injuction by the Supreme Court barring any effort to that effect.


Joseph Lawson is appointed superintendent of the bridge. He holds this position until his death in December of 1923.


Wilhelm Hildenbrand redesigns the bridge adding cable-stays to strengthen the structure and replacing the deck.


Initial construction (1847-1849)
Reconfiguration (1874)
Reconstruction (1859)

Relevant Web Sites

Relevant Publications

Internal Information
Structure-ID: 20000478
Created: 13/11/1999
Last Updated: 29/07/2014