Situated in the small town of Thurmond, West Virginia, the historic Thurmond Bridge is an important crossing over the rushing waters of the New River Gorge for pedestrians, motorists and trains. Cantilevered from the 827-foot-long-truss and deep girder span bridge owned by CSX, the West Virginia Department of Transportation’s (WVDOT) structure has only a single lane that is used by both pedestrians and motorists, many of whom are traveling to the town’s train depot and nearby tourism spots. The Thurmond Bridge’s unusual design is further complicated by its location in an area on the National Register of Historic Places and within the protected New River Gorge National River unit of the National Park Service (NPS).
The deteriorating condition of the bridge, which was built in the 1910s, was expected to lead to further weight restrictions and, eventually, bridge closure if the conditions were not addressed. Recognizing that routine maintenance was no longer a sufficient approach, WVDOT began to investigate other options.
This presentation will encompass the inspection and rehabilitation of the aging bridge. B&N’s Matt Lewellyn, PE, will outline the approach taken to meet all project goals, including increasing the load posting to 12 tons, providing safe travel on a single lane for both vehicles and pedestrians, improving the structural stability, and maintaining the historical significance of the structure.