Vintage West Virginia: Washington Street Bridge

When the eastern end of the Washington Street bridge over Elk River in Charleston collapsed from its support early Sept. 20, 1971, and fell in a shower of sparks and noise, Gov. Arch Moore immediately announced that all efforts to salvage the old span went “under the bridge” and a new one would be built as soon as possible. No injuries were reported as the 125-foot section fell. It had been closed since it was hit by runaway barges and boats in the rain-swollen Elk River. Photo by Tom Hodges.