SWINGING BRIDGES WERE NOT FOR THE FAINT OF HEART

(05/16/2015)

A well-constructed swinging bridge, likely a 1960s
erection, crosses the West Fork of the Little
Kanawha near the long-gone Village of Richardson

There are still a few swinging bridges being used in Calhoun County, but most a are dangling in disrepair across rivers and streams.

Built without benefit of formal engineering, the swinging bridge is a distinctive form of folk construction, suited for pedestrians crossing streams in the rugged Appalachian region.

Swinging bridges were common landmarks in the last century.

The bridges were not for the faint of heart.

Although such bridges are strong enough to support foot traffic, they lack stiffness and swing from side to side and vertically under foot traffic.

Many bridges, lacking repair and wire sides, were invitations to take a tumble.


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