The Wheeling Suspension Bridge is a suspension bridge spanning the main channel of the Ohio River at Wheeling, West Virginia. It was the largest suspension bridge in the world from 1849 until 1851. Charles Ellet Jr. (who also worked on the Niagara Falls Suspension Bridge) built it, and it became the first bridge to span a major river west of the Appalachian mountains. It linked the eastern and western section of the National Road, and became especially strategically important during the American Civil War. Litigation in the United States Supreme Court concerning its obstruction of the new high steamboat smokestacks eventually cleared the way for other bridges, especially needed by expanding railroads. Because this bridge was designed during the horse-and-buggy era, 2-ton weight limits and vehicle separation requirements now apply.To visit Suspension Bridge on your holiday in Wheeling, and find out what else Wheeling has to offer, use our Wheeling attractions planner .
The main span is 1010ft from tower to tower. The east tower rests on the Wheeling shore, while the west tower is on Wheeling Island. The east tower is 153.5ft above the low-water level of the river, or 82ft from the base of the masonry. The west tower is 132.75ft above low water, with 69ft of masonry.
The Wheeling Suspension Bridge was designated a National Historic Landmark on May 15, 1975. It is located in the Wheeling Island Historic District.
Suspension Bridge Reviews
At one time it was the longest suspension bridge in the US. It is an engineering are looking for it’s day. It is under repair so closed except for pedestrians at this time. more »
Beautiful and fun walk over the bridge. Recently a bus drove over it (not allowed) and it raised questions about it’s structural integrity so it is closed to vehicles right now. Not sure if they are o... more »
I love this bridge! Great piece of transportation history...very interesting learning about the importance it had on the development of the West. I've lived in this valley all my life...it is a shame kids don't learn local history in school. This is the oldest suspension bridge open to current vehicular transportation IN THE WORLD. AMAZING! Note: There is a weight limit on this structure...NO TRUCKS ALLOWED. Meaning no trucks larger than a pick-up allowed to cross.
Very cool bridge. It can be hard to believe that this was once a huge engineering accomplishment. If you’re walking down the sidewalk, you can feel the bridge bounce a little each time a car passes.
Plan your trip to Wheeling
Get a personalized planA complete day-by-day itinerary
based on your preferences
Customize itRefine your plan. We'll find the
best routes and schedules
Manage itEverything in one place.
Everyone on the same page.
View all >
Side trips from Wheeling
Hidden gems in Wheeling
Museums in Wheeling
Nearby attractions in Wheeling
Plans to Suspension Bridge by other users
15 days in West Virginia BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES April, popular sights PREFERENCES: April ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 16 days in West Virginia BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES October, popular sights PREFERENCES: October ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 29 days in West Virginia BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES October, popular sights PREFERENCES: October ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 3 days in Mid-Ohio Valley BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES November, popular sights PREFERENCES: November ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 23 days in Mid-Ohio Valley BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES October, popular sights PREFERENCES: October ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 6 days in Fredericksburg & Wheeling BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES October, popular sights PREFERENCES: October ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium