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Wheeling Suspension Bridge

Wheeling Suspension Bridge

The Wheeling Suspension Bridge is a suspension bridge spanning the main channel of the Ohio River at Wheeling, West Virginia. It was the largest suspension bridge in the world from 1849 until 1851. Charles Ellet Jr. (who also worked on the Niagara Falls Suspension Bridge) designed it and supervised construction of what became the first bridge to span a major river west of the Appalachian mountains. It linked the eastern and western section of the National Road, and became especially strategically important during the American Civil War. Litigation in the United States Supreme Court concerning its obstruction of the new high steamboat smokestacks eventually cleared the way for other bridges, especially needed by expanding railroads. Because this bridge was designed during the horse-and-buggy era, 2-ton weight limits and vehicle separation requirements applied in later years until it was closed to automobile traffic in September 2019.

The main span is 1,010 feet (310 m) from tower to tower. The east tower rests on the Wheeling shore, while the west tower is on Wheeling Island. The east tower is 153. 5 feet (46. 8 m) above the low-water level of the river, or 82 feet (25 m) from the base of the masonry. The west tower is 132. 75 feet (40. 46 m) above low water, with 69 feet (21 m) of masonry. Detailed analysis of the bridge was conducted by Dr. Emory Kemp.

The Wheeling Suspension Bridge was designated a National Historic Landmark on May 15, 1975. It is located in the Wheeling Island Historic District.

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This article uses material from the Wikipedia article "Wheeling Suspension Bridge", which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.