The Great Stone Viaduct served as the western approach to the former Baltimore and Ohio railroad bridge spanning the Ohio River. The Great Stone Viaduct Historical Education Society was organized in 2011 to increase awareness of the significance of the railroad viaduct in Bellaire, Ohio and work to secure long term preservation of the this beautiful structure. The 43 stone arch viaduct, reminiscent of a Roman aqueduct, was built in 1871 by the Central Ohio Railroad to carry north and eastbound rail service across the Ohio River to Benwood, West Virginia and beyond. In about 1900 the steel portion, made famous in the Denzel Washington movie, Unstoppable, was added to carry southbound traffic. These bridges intersect at 31st Street in Bellaire. In 1996, owner CSX Railroad abandoned a 20-arch portion of the stone viaduct structure, but retained the balance which is still in use today. In 2015, with $80,000 they raised locally, the Great Stone Viaduct Education Society purchased the abandoned viaduct and several surrounding acres for development and preservation. The group also developed a concept plan to convey its vision to develop the area for a park and bicycle trail head. In 2017 the Ohio Department of Transportation awarded a grant for $1.9 million dollars to undertake this project.This site provides photographic opportunities of railroad train activity crossing the Ohio River, and a Ohio History Connection Marker at the Union Street arch.
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