In the 1850s, the Lexington and Danville Railroad began building a suspension bridge over the Kentucky River. The bridge was designed by John A Roebling. Due to unforeseen increases in train loads, the Roebling bridge was never completed. The High Bridge would then be built 20 years later on the existing foundations.
In 1866, the Covington and Cincinnati Suspension Bridge was the largest suspension bridge in the world. Also called the Ohio Bridge, it was officially renamed the John A. Roebling Bridge in 1983. It was the first permanent bridge over the Ohio River and the only public project in America financed by private investors during the Civil War.
Renowned bridge designer John A. Roebling proposed the structure in 1846; but building the bridge would become a 20-year saga, with heated lobbying both for and against the crossing.
The Wheeling Suspension Bridge was the first bridge to span the Ohio River. It was initially completed in 1849, but destroyed by a tornado five years later. The bridge was rebuilt in 1856. The replacement bridge has the same general appearance of the original structure; the massive towers, anchorage housings, and island approach are all the original stone masonry.