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The Silver Bridge
The Silver Bridge was constructed between Pt. Pleasant, West Virginia and Kanauga/Gallipolis, Ohio. It opened in 1928 and collapsed during rush-hour traffic (roughly 5:00 P.M.) on December 15, 1967.

According to the wikipedia article, "...the Silver Bridge collapsed while it was full of rush-hour traffic, resulting in the deaths of 46 people. Two of the victims were never found. Investigation of the wreckage pointed to the cause of the collapse being the failure of a single eyebar in a suspension chain, due to a small defect 0.1 inch (2.5 mm) deep. Analysis showed that the bridge was carrying much heavier loads than it had originally been designed for and had been poorly maintained."

The Silver Bridge's replacement, the Silver Memorial Bridge, opened December 15, 1969.

Although this event occurred roughly 200 miles away, it did have an effect on our area. Shortly after an initial investigation, inspections were conducted on all bridges across the country. The Chester Bridge was found to have several corroded sections of cable. It was eventually closed to traffic in 1969 and was completely demolished by the end of 1970. (See this page for more on the Chester Bridge.)

The Hi Carpenter Bridge connected Newport, Ohio to St. Marys, West Virginia. It was very similar to the Silver Bridge. Both were eyebar suspension bridges and both opened in 1928. As a result, the Hi Carpenter Bridge was closed immediately after the Silver Bridge collapsed. It was torn down in 1971 and replaced by the Hi Carpenter Memorial Bridge.

Captions below come from the actual press photos.



A low-level aerial view of the Silver Bridge (top) linking Pt. Pleasant, W. Va. (left) and Kanauga, Ohio (right).

This aerial view, taken from a plane just over Pt. Pleasant, W. Va., looking toward the Ohio side of the Ohio river, shows what is left of the Pt. Pleasant-Kanauga, Ohio (Gallipolis) bridge which fell into the river Friday evening. At least eight persons are known dead and at least 35 persons unaccounted for in the bridge disaster. A railroad bridge is pictured just to the right of the broken span.

Debris from bridge collapse. An overturned tractor-trailer truck almost hides rescuers as police, firemen, and volunteers search among wrecked vehicles for survivors on the Ohio side of the bridge between Pt. Pleasant, W. Va. and Kanauga, Ohio after it collapsed here today.




Gallipolis, O., Battered car yanked from river. One of the many cars believed to have plunged into the Ohio river four miles from here late Friday, today was pulled from the river on the Ohio side.

Collapse pinpointed - arrow shows spot in bridge mockup where a steel eyebar pin apparently slipped, causing the Silver Bridge over the Ohio River at Point Pleasant, W. Va. to collapse.



Doomed to an early death, the Hi Carpenter Bridge will soon be coming down for good. A new four-lane bridge will be completed by 1972 hopefully. Although pedestrians are banned from the bridge, it receives much foot traffic. The bridge built during the 20s crosses the Ohio River between Newport, O. and St. Marys W. Va.

The New Hi Carpenter Memorial bridge.

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