Bridge History and Restoration. The current bridge dates from circa 1906 when the present train station, designed by local noted architect, T. J. Collins, was erected. An earlier wooden bridge had existed on the site since 1888. The iron pedestrian structure is listed as a part of the Wharf Historic District, and is listed on the Virginia Landmarks Register and the National Register of Historic Places.
In early 2010, the City of Staunton was offered the bridge by the owner of the train station complex because the bridge was held under an easement as a public right-of-way. After completing an engineering analysis of the bridge, the City determined that it was structurally unsound and closed it to any public access. The owner had the bridge dismantled and donated it to the City. In turn, the City requested that citizens step forward to create a committee, Friends of the Sears Hill Bridge, to raise funds for its restoration.
The Community Foundation of the Central Blue Ridge served as the fiscal agent for the committee to allow charitable donations. After three years of efforts, the committee raised over $200,000 to restore the bridge and once again open it to the public in April of 2013.