Duck Run Cable Suspension Bridge

The Duck Run Cable Suspension Bridge carried County Route 30 over the Little Kanawha River in Trubada, West Virginia.

In 1922, the Duck Run Suspension Bridge was erected over the Little Kanawha River to provide a link to County Route 30 (Duck Run Road) in Trubada, West Virginia. 1 The bridge was constructed with four reinforced concrete towers supporting two wire rope cables, most likely produced by the Roebling Sons Company or the Bethlehem Steel Corporation. The creation of the suspension bridge was concurrent with the national Good Roads Movement, which aimed to enhance the quality of America’s roadway network in the aftermath of World War I, signifying the first nationwide effort to construct all-weather roads in rural areas.

Around 1918, James W. Keith, a resident of Duck Run Road, procured a motor vehicle and subsequently approached the county to construct a bridge over the Little Kanawha River to replace a ford. 1 At the time, it was the responsibility of counties to construct and maintain roads, and due to a lack of funding, Gilmer County could not finance a bridge. Keith garnered support from M. B. Summers and other locals, who started to raise funds by other means. On February 4, 1921, E. W. Floyd, a landowner, granted permission for the right-of-way to construct the Summers Suspension Bridge.

The funds raised in the Duck Run and Bear Run communities were utilized to purchase materials. 1 The bridge was built with volunteer labor in 1922, employing readily available wire rope, associated fittings, and locally sourced wood for the roadway deck. Concrete for the support towers was made on-site using sand and gravel from the Little Kanawha River. The design was finalized by Gilmer County engineers William M. Moss and Fred Lewis.

As time passed, the concrete in the towers degraded due to the low quality of sand and gravel used, necessitating the fortification of the tower with steel plating. 1 In 1958, the timber deck was replaced. The narrow and height-limited Duck Run Cable Suspension Bridge was replaced in 1992 with a new structure upstream, leading to the abandonment of the old crossing. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1997.



  1. Kemp, Emory L. “Duck Run Cable Suspension Bridge.” National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form, 26 Nov. 1996.

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