Briana Heaney Published

Market Street Bridge Near Weirton Closed

Bridge crossing wide river
The Market Street Bridge is a Steel Suspension Bridge that was built in 1904.
Briana Heaney/West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The Market Street Bridge connecting Weirton, West Virginia and Steubenville, Ohio is closed to all traffic starting Dec. 21. 

The West Virginia Department of Transportation (WVDOT) closed the bridge following an inspection on Dec. 20. The steel suspension bridge is nearly 120 years old. 

The department said that it goes above the federal requirement for bridge inspections, doing them on a two-year cycle or more frequently if needed. 

Tracy Brown, state bridge engineer, said the Market Street Bridge, due to its age, was on a three-month inspection cycle. 

“Just like, as a person gets older they go to the doctor more often, we increase (the frequency of) inspection intervals,” Brown said.  

During September’s three-month inspection, the WVDOT lowered the weight limit on the bridge to three tons. In the Dec. 20 inspection, crews found six broken strands to the suspension cables that anchor the bridge. 

“We thought it was best, you know, until we can do some investigation and see exactly what’s going on structurally there the best thing would be to close it, and not take any chances,” Brown said. 

Detour routes are available using US 22, over the Ohio River via the Veterans Memorial Bridge or County Route 2/23, using the Wellsburg Bridge. 

It’s unclear when the bridge will be fixed and reopened.