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Historical Bridge Collapse Basis for "Mothman" movie?

Started by Grzrd, August 25, 2010, 07:51:57 AM

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Wasn't sure whether to post here, Bridges, or Off-Topic.  Opted for geography ...

I saw "The Mothman Prophecies" on cable the other night.  In the movie, Richard Gere plays a Washington Post reporter who is subconsciously drawn to the town of Point Pleasant, West Virginia.  While there, he has premonitions of a vague impending disaster, which turns out to be a horrific bridge collapse that kills a lot of people stalled on it due to a holiday traffic jam.  The credits at the end of the movie suggest that the plot is loosely based on historical fact.

Was there such a collapse years ago that provided basis for screenplay?  Or is it just a lot of Hollywood license?

SP Cook

The bridge in question is the Silver Bridge, at Point Pleasant, WV, an eye-bar chain suspension bridge that colapsed due to poor maintance on December 15, 1967.  The movie is totally fictional.  The bridge just colapsed without warning in the middle of the day.  The events outlined in the movie never happened, and the bridge did not look like the one in the movie.  The Mothman is a local ghost story, (I can tell you the real deal if you want) but has nothing to do with the bridge.

Road trivia.  Point Pleasant is where the Kanawha joins the Ohio.   Local lingo always refered to the "silver bridge" (the one over the Ohio) and the "blue bridge" (the one over the Kanawha).  These were not official names.  However the replacement is officially the Silver Memorial Bridge.

The old bridge crossed the Ohio just north of the Kanawha, carrying US 35 which remained on the north side of the river.  The parallel road on the south side was WV 17.  The new bridge crosses just south of the Kanawha.  WV 17 was renamed US 35 (and WV 17 reassigned to a part of the old US 119 bypassed by that road four-laneing in another part of the state), and the old US 35 was renamed WV 62.  Now US 35 is being four laned and the parts of US 35 that are being bypassed are becoming WV 817, since 17 was reused.



The bridge in the movie is the Kittanning Bridge, that spans the Allegheny River between West Kittanning and Kittanning.


Quote from: SP Cook on August 25, 2010, 08:13:41 AM
Road trivia.  Point Pleasant is where the Kanawha joins the Ohio.   Local lingo always refered to the "silver bridge" (the one over the Ohio) and the "blue bridge" (the one over the Kanawha).  These were not official names.  However the replacement is officially the Silver Memorial Bridge.

Oh no!  Is it really?   :wow:   :wow:   :wow:   :wow:   :wow:  (may be easier to see photo using this link)

Back on-topic: is above-linked photo the Silver Memorial Bridge?

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