POINT PLEASANT, W.Va. – A major bridge collapse which took the lives of 46 people back in 1967 and the resulting regulations that led to national standards for regular bridge inspections was remembered Thursday by the West Virginia Department of Transportation.
On Dec. 15, 1967, the deadliest bridge disaster in modern history occurred when the 2,200-foot Silver Bridge in Point Pleasant collapsed into the freezing waters of the Ohio River during rush hour traffic, killing 46 people. The Silver Bridge tragedy led directly to federal regulations on the inspection of bridges and an increased emphasis on bridge safety that endures to this day.
“One of the main reasons I became a bridge engineer was to make sure something like the Silver Bridge collapse never, ever happened again,” said Tracy Brown, P.E., West Virginia Division of Highways (WVDOH) State Bridge Engineer.
The bridge, which connected Point Pleasant with Gallipolis, Ohio, collapsed without warning at 4:58 p.m., as many were scrambling to complete their Christmas shopping…