Winfield Toll Bridge
The Winfield Toll Bridge, also known at the Ross Booth Memorial Bridge, is located in Winfield, West Virginia. This bridge was built, in 1955, to provide better transportation across the Kanawha River. This bridge is a connecting path of the city of Winfield to the cities of Eleanor and Red House. Before the Winfield Toll Bridge was built, crossing the Kanawha River took 40 minutes, by ferry. This bridge also opened up better economic opportunities for the town of Winfield when it was completed. Once the bridge was completed, citizens were able to travel across for a small toll fee, 20 cents. This fee, was to help pay off the financial aid that was used to help fund the bridge. The bridge is still being used today, toll free. In 2010, the Winfield Toll Bridge was renovated to make small replacements and repairs.
Backstory and Context
1928, there was a fire in Winfield. This fire burned about a block of the town.
This fire destroy the post office, the newspaper office, and the bank. Winfield
also suffered greatly from the Great Depression in 1931. Because of the fire, and
the banks failing, most citizens, of Winfield, lost most of their savings. For
about 3 years, Winfield declined economically. In 1934, the locks and dam began
construction, in Winfield. This construction brought many people over to the
town of Winfield. Shops and businesses were being built, and the city of
Winfield began to flourish, economically. The migration of people was the key
factor for the Winfield Toll Bridge to be built.
This bridge was built in 1955 by John F. Beasley Construction Company. Transportation was one of the main reasons this bridge was built. In December of 1957, the bridge was open for people to travel across. The construction of this bridge ended a 138-year era of ferryboat transportation. A ferryboat was the only way for people to travel across the Kanawha River, from Nitro to Point Pleasant. It was the only way for goods to be transported across the river as well. The Winfield Toll Bridge provided more effective transportation of people and goods to neighboring towns. The cost of the bridge was split in half. The Oldfield Act provided half of the cost with federal aid, while the state of West Virginia paid for the other half. In order to help pay off the bridge, there was a 20 cent toll, for each automobile, to cross the bridge. Once the state of West Virginia was able to pay off the bridge, the 20 cent toll was removed.
The engineering aspect of the Winfield Toll Bridge is the other significant part of the bridge. This bridge is built as a cantilever through truss. This bridge uses spans that cantilever out a distance over the piers. This is one of seven bridges, in West Virginia, to be built this way. In 2010, the bridge was renovated by West Virginia Division of Highways. For this renovation, certain parts of the bridge were replaced. This included the deck being replaced, sidewalk being added, and the remaining part of the bridge to be cleaned and repainted. The Winfield Toll Bridge, today, allows citizens of Winfield, Eleanor, and Red house to travel freely to nearby towns, for food, business, jobs, schools, etc. This bridge has opened up economic opportunities for most of the population.