Historic Elkhurst Swinging Bridge
This bridge is an extremely rare and significant bridge for West Virginia for which preservation should be given high priority. It is the only surviving example listed in the National Bridge Inventory of a suspension bridge that is located entirely within West Virginia. (not a border bridge). It is also listed as the only vehicular "swinging" type suspension bridge in the state. Swinging suspension bridges refer to a generalized class of suspension bridges that are normally among the smallest suspension bridges constructed and generally have very little or no stiffening trusses/girders. They tend to be of simple, relatively unsophisticated construction, often with a wooden deck, lightweight cables, and narrow deck width. All of these features combine to form a bridge that tends to noticeably flex under weight and wind, giving rise to the name "swinging bridge." While the main span of 129 feet is of fair size for a bridge for this bridge, with a three span suspension design, where there are suspender cables supporting a deck on both sides of the two towers, rather than just in between towers, the bridge obtains an impressive overall length of 424 feet, placing it among the longest known surviving examples in the nation of swinging suspension bridges such as the 500 foot Grand Auglaize Suspension Bridge in Missouri and the 403 foot Regency Suspension Bridge in Texas. This suggests that the bridge is noteworthy on a national scale as well. Given that this bridge is the only example of its type in West Virginia as described above, and is also among the longest known examples of a genuine swinging style suspension bridge in the country, this bridge should be given a high priority for preservation. Sadly this bridge is slated to be destroyed due to the rails to trails going in across the river. The state and governor have slated it for demolition in 2019.
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