Site of Bridge Collapse Named a Historic Landmark

Photo from a documentary on the 50th anniversary of the Silver Bridge collapse.
Photo from a documentary on the 50th anniversary of the Silver Bridge collapse.
West Virginia Department of Transportation (YouTube)

POINT PLEASANT, W.Va. (AP) — The site of a West Virginia bridge that collapsed 52 years ago and killed dozens of people has been recognized as a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark.

the American Society of Civil Engineers' recognition for Silver Bridge was announced Sunday during a ceremony where the suspension bridge once stood, news outlets report. The bridge named for the color of its aluminum paint crossed the Ohio River, connecting Point Pleasant, West Virginia, and Gallipolis, Ohio, and first opened to traffic in 1928.

It collapsed on Dec. 15, 1967. Eyewitnesses reported it took seconds for the bridge to fold like a deck of cards, sending dozens of cars and people into the water below. The National Transportation Safety Board later determined the collapse was caused by an eyebar that fractured due to stress corrosion and corrosion fatigue.

The act establishing the first national bridge safety inspection program passed in 1968. Two years later, the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1970 was passed, establishing national standards for bridge inspections and safety. It also designated funding for bridge replacement and repair.

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