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August 22, 2011
Times Leader
By BETTY?POKAS, Times Leader Area Editor THERE have been a lot of bridges to cross in the Ohio Valley with the oldest being the Blaine Bridge, which dates from the late 1820s. That span was designated as the official Bicentennial Bridge in Ohio in 2001. Its Ohio historical marker notes, in part, that “the first Blaine Hill Bridge was constructed in 1828 as part of the National Road, the nation’s first federally funded highway. This three-arch S-shaped structure, 345 feet in length, spans Wheeling Creek (a tributary of the Ohio River) and is the longest original “S” bridge in existence on the old National Road. ... it significantly eased, for the first time, the arduous 500-foot western climb out of the valley. Crumbling and in poor condition, it was saved from demolition in 1999 and in 2001 was designated Ohio’s official Bicentennial Bridge. Now tucked between the 1933 U.S. 40 viaduct and Interstate 70, it illustrates the earliest of Ohio’s three eras in national highway transportation.” The bridge undoubtedly will draw attention Sept. 4 during a homecoming, planned by the community of Blaine and the Pleasant Valley Presbyterian Church. Another S-bridge but no longer is in sight is the span, known as “the crooked bridge” on the National Road near Hendrysburg. It was replaced by an arch bridge during road construction in 1933, and it was covered when Ohio 800 was rerouted several decades ago. One of the area’s newest spans is the Interstate 470 bridge, which opened in 1983. Pokas can be reached at

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THIS S-BRIDGE didn’t go out of use because the area had too many bridges to cross, but it was replaced by road construction in 1933 and later covered during the rerouting of Ohio 800.



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