Corporations may be formed under the provisions of chapter thirty-one of this code for the purpose of bridging the Ohio River. Any such corporation or any railroad corporation is hereby authorized to construct and maintain a bridge across said river in the manner now, or which may hereafter be, provided by the Congress of the United States, upon complying with the requirements, conditions and provisions so prescribed, and not otherwise; and such corporation is authorized to take tolls for the passage of persons, railroad cars, engines, vehicles and other things passing on and over such bridge. Such corporation may obtain the real estate necessary for the construction of its bridge and the approaches thereto, under the provisions of chapter fifty-four of this code, and may purchase from any other corporation which may have taken steps toward the erection of a bridge in the manner aforesaid all the rights, franchises and property it may have acquired. Subscriptions to the stock or bonds of any such corporation may be made by counties, districts and municipal corporations in the manner provided by law; and subscriptions may be made thereto by other corporations, including railroad corporations, with the assent of the holders of two thirds of the stock of any such corporation, at any general or special meeting of the stockholders.
Any corporation heretofore or hereafter formed for the purpose of bridging the Great Kanawha or Big Sandy Rivers, or any railroad corporation constructing such bridge, shall have all the privileges accorded by this section to corporations formed for the purpose of bridging the Ohio River: Provided, however, That every bridge erected across the Great Kanawha River at and above the United States government lock number six, and between said lock number six and the United States government lock number three, shall have at least one channel span, the center of which shall be in the middle of the channel usually run by descending coal fleets in high towing stages; such channel span to have a clear opening of four hundred feet at low waterline, and be at least sixty-five feet above low water: Provided further, That every bridge erected across the Kanawha River at and above the United States government lock number three, and below a point six hundred feet below the intersection at low watermark of Nancy's branch with the Great Kanawha River -- said point being approximately the head of the slack water pool formed by the United States government dam number two -- shall have at least one channel span, the center of which shall be in the middle of the channel usually run by descending coal fleets in high water towing stages; such channel span to have a clear opening of four hundred feet at low water line, and be at least sixty-five feet above low water, except in cases where the United States government may authorize the construction of a bridge of a less height, not, however, to be below the minimum of sixty feet above low water; and said Great Kanawha River may be bridged by any such corporation at or above such point six hundred feet below the intersection at low watermark of Nancy's branch with the Kanawha River, subject only to such terms and conditions, if any, as the United States government acting through its authorized officers may prescribe.
The benefits of this section shall not inure to any corporation whose corporate rights have lapsed, been forfeited or become forfeitable.