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Bridge Over Licking River Between Newport & Covington Collapsed 160 Years Ago this Week

An interesting historical notation courtesy of the Northern Kentucky Views Facebook page:

The first suspension bridge over the Licking from Covington to Newport cost $80,000, opened on December 23, 1853, and, less than a month later, collapsed, on this day, January 16, in 1854 under vibration from cattle crossing it. Located where the current 4th Street bridge is.

According to, "Although the bridge was not quite finished, Tarvin and the mayor of Covington rode the first vehicle across it on December 28, 1853. Less than two weeks later... the bridge collapsed."

Additionally, the site notes, the collapse of the bridge made news in The New York Times:

The January 18, 1854 edition of The New York Times has a small article with a January 16, 1854 byline reporting the collapse of the bridge: "The... bridge... gave way this evening, while two men and eighteen cattle were crossing it... The keys which held the wire cable to the anchors gave way."

The collapsed bridge was replaced later that year by a new one.

The NKY Views website has more information about bridges that once spanned the Licking River: Click Here