Blaine Bridge Community Preservation Project  




Wednesday, February 04, 2004

Time: 9:47:39 AM EST


Blaine Bridge project on tap

OHIO DEPARTMENT of Transportation (ODOT) Director Gordon Proctor announced that his department, at an estimated cost of $1.6 million, will reconstruct the remaining two spans of the historic Blaine Hill Bridge, which crosses Wheeling Creek.

"This bridge project is unique because of the historic significance of the bridge and the magnitude of its disrepair," said Proctor. "The Blaine Hill Bridge is among the most distinctive bridges in the country."

The bridge is Ohio's official Bicentennial Bridge and is the last of its type on the entire six-state Historic National Road system. It was constructed in 1828 and is the oldest documented bridge in Ohio.

"ODOT wouldn't typically fund a bridge project in this manner, but the importance of preserving the Blaine Hill Bridge makes this case a necessary exception," said Proctor.

Because of the deteriorating condition of the bridge, it was closed to all traffic in 1994. In 2000, ODOT authorized the reconstruction of the western end of the bridge because it was collapsing.

The Belmont County Engineer funded an inspection of the bridge in 2001 with the analysis finding that the deck, superstructure and substructure of the bridge were all in critical condition.

Because the bridge is at the point that much of its historic value will be lost if it is not reconstructed, the deteriorating condition is a major priority for ODOT.

Copyright 2006 Blaine Bridge Community Preservation Project