Blaine Bridge Community Preservation Project  
 

 

Blaine Bridge Group Did Well

The Intelligencer

During an era in which we are, perhaps, overly boastful about strides in technology, it is important that we remind ourselves that craftsmanship - ingenuity, combined with skill and dedication to doing a job well - remains the key to progress. Here in the Ohio Valley, we have an excellent example of the importance of craftsmanship. It is the old Blaine Bridge in Belmont County.

Built in 1828 as part of the historic National Road project, the Blaine Bridge made the transition from horses and wagons to cars and trucks with ease. It was part of U.S. 40 until 1933, when the nearby Blaine Viaduct replaced it. It was used until 1994, by pedestrians only, until engineers determined it had deteriorated to the point of being unsafe.

It is safe once again for pedestrian traffic - and as a showcase of early 19th century American craftsmanship. Thanks to two restoration projects - the latter a $1.6 million effort just completed - the Blaine Bridge is open again. A special celebration, open to the public, is scheduled for 2 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 18.

Much of the credit for convincing state officials to put money into the old bridge should go to the Blaine Bridge Community Preservation group, headed by Sue Douglass. Members of the group have done more than save a piece of history. Again, they have helped to remind us of the wonderful feats of engineering and construction accomplished long before power machinery and computer-aided design were available. For that, they deserve our thanks.

 

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Copyright 2006 Blaine Bridge Community Preservation Project