THE SILVER BRIDGE WENT DOWN 54 YEARS AGO - "Not To Worry, It Always Sways This Way"

By Bob Weaver

Fifty-four years ago on December 15, 1967 the Silver Bridge collapsed into the Ohio River, killing 46 people.

The event has spawned urban legends, strange creatures, and men in black, many reaching the silver screen.

Attending college in Cincinnati, Ohio at the time, I frequently crossed the structure.

My son Eric was just a few months old, a babe in the lap of my first wife Sharon, when we crossed the bridge a day or so before it collapsed.

It was not unusual that the bridge swayed and vibrated, particularly when heavy 18-wheelers crossed the structure, or traffic got bumper-to-bumper.

It caused a fascinating sensation for the occupants of a car.

People often consoled those who got nervous, including myself, by telling them "That's the way the bridge was built. It's suppose to do that."

"Don't worry, the bridge always sways this way," they said.

Sharon often commented, "This thing feels like it's going to fall down."

At 4:55 p.m. during rush hour, the traffic light at the end of the bridge wasn't working, cars and trucks backed up, causing a bumper to bumper traffic jam.

It fell into the Ohio River.

The eyebar chain suspension bridge was built in 1928, connecting Pt. Pleasant WV and Gallipolis Ohio.

Investigation later pointed to a crack in a single eye-bar as the cause of the collapse.

Maybe one's senses overrules the axiom that people believe and repeat.