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Point Pleasant in Mason County, West Virginia — The American South (Appalachia)
 

Silver Bridge Collapse

 
 
Silver Bridge Collapse Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, September 22, 2018
1. Silver Bridge Collapse Marker
Inscription. Constructed in 1928, connected Point Pleasant and Kanauga, OH. Name credited to aluminum-colored paint used. First eye-bar suspension bridge of its type in the U.S. Rush hour collapse on 15 December 1967, resulted in 31 vehicles falling into the river, killing 46 and injuring 9. Failed eye-bar joint and weld identified as cause. Resulted in Congressional passage of national bridge inspection standards in 1968.
 
Erected 2006 by Celebration 2000 — West Virginia Division of Archives and History.
 
Location. 38° 50.675′ N, 82° 8.304′ W. Marker is in Point Pleasant, West Virginia, in Mason County. Marker is at the intersection of 6th Street and Main Street on 6th Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Point Pleasant WV 25550, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Site of Silver Bridge Collapse (a few steps from this marker); Point Pleasant (a few steps from this marker); West Virginia / Ohio (a few steps from this marker); George Rogers Clark (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Seventh Street (about 400 feet away); Daniel Haymond Polsley
Silver Bridge Collapse Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, September 22, 2018
2. Silver Bridge Collapse Marker
(about 500 feet away); Historic Lowe Hotel (about 700 feet away); “Legend of the Mothman” (about 700 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Point Pleasant.
 
More about this marker. Sixth Street was the approach to the Silver Bridge, which carried U.S. 35 over the Ohio River.
 
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker.
 
Also see . . .
1. Wikipedia Entry for Silver Bridge. “Reviewing the collapse and subsequent investigation in his 2012 book To Forgive Design, engineering historian Henry Petroski finds it ‘a cautionary tale for engineers of every kind.’ As a result of the thoroughness of the investigation, the cause of the disaster was precisely and indisputably found to be ‘a design that inadvertently made inspection all but impossible and failure all but inevitable. If ever a design was to blame for a failure, this was it.’

“He does not fault the bridge’s designers, who were ignorant of many of these hazards. Instead he points to the future. ‘If there is anything positive about the Silver Bridge failure,’ he concludes, ‘it is that its legacy should be to remind engineers to proceed always with
Silver Bridge, Point Pleasant, WV image. Click for full size.
US Federal Highway Administration via Wikipedia Commons, 1928
3. Silver Bridge, Point Pleasant, WV
the utmost caution, ever mindful of the possible existence of unknown unknowns and the potential consequences of even the smallest design decisions.’” (Submitted on October 3, 2018.) 

2. Mural to bring the Silver Bridge back to 6th Street. 2018 article by Beth Sergent in the Point Pleasant Register. “WVDOH officials contacted Jesse Corlis from Braxton County about coming up with the design, while officials with the City of Point Pleasant and Mason County Commission approached the public and collected donations of $8,000 needed to bring the mural to life this spring. Mayor Brian Billings and Commissioner Tracy Doolittle were on the committee both to help with the observance and raise the mural funds.” (Submitted on October 3, 2018.) 
 
Categories. 20th CenturyBridges & ViaductsDisasters
 
Flood wall mural at the foot of 6th street, the former approach to the Silver Bridge image. Click for full size.
Mural by Jesse Corlis, photographed by J.J. Prats, September 22, 2018
4. Flood wall mural at the foot of 6th street, the former approach to the Silver Bridge
This mural, commissioned by the West Virginia Department of Highways, was completed in 2018, the 50th anniversary of the bridge’s collapse.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on October 15, 2018. This page originally submitted on October 3, 2018, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio. This page has been viewed 53 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on October 3, 2018, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio.
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