Steel Bridge Opens, October 24, 1891.
- from The Wheeling Intelligencer, Monday, October 26, 1891.
THE NEW BRIDGE OPENED.
Thousands of people crossed the fine Structure Free Saturday and Sunday.
As was announced in the Intelligencer Saturday the now bridge of the Wheeling Bridge Company leading from Main street to the Island was thrown open to public traffic Saturday and yesterday, though no charge is yet made for crossing it. To-morrow the taking of tolls will begin, and monthly tickets bought now will be good from date till December 1. On Saturday the bridge was crowded with passengers nearly all day, and thousands of people crossed and recrossed. All admired the line structure, a specimen of enterprise and progressive spirit of which the city has a right to be proud. It is roomy and the grades pleasant. It makes an imposing appearance, the west approach, with its long grade from South Front to South Penn street, and the neat gas pipe supports for the trolley wires being especially attractive. The rush of people across the bridge was even greater yesterday than on Saturday. The electric cars, which run from the Ohio side to the east end of the bridge, did a good business, and on every trip were so crowded that it was with difficulty they climbed the approach from Penn street. The change which the new bridge and the new arrangement of the street cars on the Island makes can only be appreciated by seeing. Apparently every able-bodied person in the city embraced the opportunity to see it yesterday or the day before. While one street car crossed the bridge a passenger counted on the sidewalk 1,000 persons. That trip did not occupy more than seven minutes. It is safe to say that twenty thousand persons have already crossed the bridge.
The bridge is now complete, except the stairway leading up from South Front street. It has been built with unusual speed for such work, ground not having been broken on it until in June, 1890. A neat firebrick pavement is being laid on both approaches, which will be done in a day or two. A tasty toll house has been erected at the east end. The tolls will be substantially the same as on the suspension bridge.
From Main street to Penn street is a distance of 2,012 feet. The bridge, including the Island viaduct, which is 778 feet long, covers 1819 feet, or without the viaduct,1041 feet, just forty-one feet more than the length of the suspension bridge from abutment to abutment.