Hinton, Summers County
Construction Date: 1928
Threat: Deterioration; Funding
May 2019 Update: Progress on the bridge is at a standstill. The West Virginia Division of Highways (DOH) is willing to have a non-profit organization take over ownership of the bridge if they can demonstrate financial ability to restore and maintain the bridge. Additionally, they must agree to dismantle the bridge if they can no longer maintain it. However, as of the site’s last update, they have been unable to find a non-profit organization capable of taking on the expense of the bridge’s restoration. The bridge continues to need concrete repairs, conduit replacement for decorative lighting, and grooming of the surrounding area. Until a financially capable custodial organization is found, the bridge will continue to deteriorate. The local community would like to see the for former automobile bridge restored and repurposed as a pedestrian bridge.
2016: The Avis Overhead Bridge connects Hinton and the neighboring community of Avis, above the railroad tracks, along WV 107 and, later, WV Route 21. It is recognized in the 1984 West Virginia Bridge Survey as being historically significant. The Luten Bridge Company of York, Pennsylvania, constructed the bridge in 1928. Its designer, Daniel B. Luten, claimed to have designed over 17,000 bridges, and the concrete Avis Overhead Bridge features his patented Rainbow Arch. Rainbow arch bridges are famous for having been built with curved, simply ornamented, solid parapets. This style of concrete arch was widely built as a proprietary bridge type in the first quarter of the twentieth century.
The bridge closed in 2003 when a new bridge was constructed nearby. The West Virginia Division of Highways (DOH) retains ownership of the original bridge and does not have plans to rehabilitate it now that a new bridge has been built. Local groups would like to see this former automobile bridge reused as a pedestrian bridge reconnecting Hinton and Avis. Before its potential reopening, however, the bridge is in need of concrete repairs, conduit replacement for decorative lighting, and grooming of the surrounding area.
The DOH would consider giving up ownership of the bridge to a nonprofit if that particular organization could demonstrate the long term fiscal ability to inspect the bridge in accordance with the National Bridge Inspection Standards and to maintain its safe operations for general public use. Interested organizations must submit a plan to the DOH outlining how the organization expects to maintain the bridge and for what duration. The organization must also agree to demolish the structure at its own cost at which time it is determined that they do not have the financial capability to maintain the safe operation of the bridge. The bridge would require an in-depth inspection and load rating for its intended use before it could be open to any type of traffic.
Endangered Properties List
If you are interested in assisting with any of these preservation projects, contact the Preservation Alliance of West Virginia at firstname.lastname@example.org.