The story of a forgotten America.

West Prestonsburg Bridge

The West Prestonsburg Bridge is an abandoned concrete through arch bridge over the Levisa Fork in Prestonsburg, Kentucky.

The West Prestonsburg Bridge is a concrete through open-spandrel arch bridge, with concrete beam approaches and a two-lane underpass under the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad in West Prestonsburg. It connected Prestonsburg and Salyersville via Prestonsburg-Salyersville Road, which became KY Route 114. 1 3

The West Prestonsburg Bridge was constructed in 1928 by the Steel & Lebby Contracting Company of Knoxville, Tennessee, to carry Bridge Street over the Levisa Fork, 1 3 replacing a wire suspenson bridge on Court Street. 3 It was rumored that the bridge was commissioned by the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad to provide easier access to its passenger and freight depot in West Prestonsburg.

The Town Branch Bridge, built by Steel & Lebby in 1932 over Town Branch, was another concrete through open-spandrel arch structure in the area. 3 There was also a third arch bridge in Harold, replaced in the 1970s.

The through arch design of the bridges in the Prestonsburg area were derived from a standardized design for through arches in Ohio from 1921, based on a patent granted to engineer James Marsh in 1912. 3 The Prestonsburg crossing was notable for its longer length and greater height, and for its through arch design in which the arch flowed below deck level.

In 1945, the railroad underpass was widened from 11½-foot travel lanes to 15½-foot travel lanes. 2 In 1963, the West Prestonsburg Bridge was bypassed with a four-lane conventional girder and beam bridge as part of a general realignment of KY Route 114 along Middle Creek. 1 The bridge was closed to automobile traffic in 1979 and to pedestrians in 2008.



  1. Holth, Nathan. “West Prestonsburg Bridge.”, 2 Dec. 2020.
  2. “Prestonsburg-Salyersville Road.” Kentucky Department of Highways, 1945.
  3. Warminsky, Margaret. “West Prestonsburg Bridge, Floyd County, Kentucky.” National Register of Historic Places Registration Form, Dec, 1988.

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