It was reported yesterday that the stone bridge was still sinking. The engineers themselves thought this might very probably be true, as two inches, the yielding noticed the day before, was a very low proportion to the span. A careful observation yesterday afternoon, however, showed that the bridge was rigid at the point it had reached at the time of the last observation the day before. It has only sunk tow inches since the removal of the centers from beneath the stone was begun, and as it stood twenty-four hours without any further sinking, it is evident that is has reached its resting place.
There was never a more successful job of bridge engineering and building accomplished. The plans were so intelligently and carefully drawn that every stone fit in its place just as if it had been cut to fit the place by actual measurement. Engineering alone, however, could not have accomplished the work. Messrs. Hoge and White, the engineers in charge, did their part as well as it could have been done. This is shown by the fact that the sinking of the arch breaks the record. But without the competent work of Capt. K. G. Hallock, the managing member of the firm which had the contract, and the most faithful inspection of Mr. Bradley, who was charged with the duty of seeing that every piece of material that went into the bridge was what it ought to be, the engineers could have done little. All connected with the work operated together so harmoniously that the best results were to be expected, and they were obtained.
Two inches of sinking in an arch of 159 feet span will be regarded by the engineering world as a marvelous achievement. The closest record before made was on the Grosvenor bridge in England, where on the first attempt the bridge fell in when the false work was removed from beneath it. The arch was rebuilt, with more care, and on the second attempt the bridge was so nicely adjusted that it sank but two and a half inches. That was until the Wheeling arch was complete the high water mark of bridge engineering. It is something for a community to have a bridge which excels the finest former feat of engineering. Already the interest felt in it is intense and widespread. Requests for blueprints of the plans and for information as to details have been received from a number of prominent people.
It is thought that the bridge can be complete in every detail, including the laying of the water pipes and the arrangements for underground electric wires, inside of a month. The work of arching over the open spaces between the spandrel walls is being pushed along as fast as possible in spite of the weather. The cutting of the stone for the curb and the parapets is all that will require any special time, and it is understood that this is making good progress. At any rate the driveway can be paved and ready for use inside of a month. The sidewalks need not be pushed. It is not known whether the contractors would allow the bridge to be thrown open to vehicles before it is entirely completed and turned over to the city or not, but in all probability they would offer no objections.
Wheeling Daily Intelligencer, March 11, 1892, p. 5
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