Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Columbus Road Bridges in Cleveland, OH

1880-1932: (Bridge Hunter) Swing Bridge
1940: (Bridge HunterHistoric Bridges; HAER; Flickr, the first of several) Lift Bridge
2013: (3D Satellite) Rebuilt Lift Bridge

The dates indicate that the Columbus Road was closed during the depression. The Works Progress Administration helped build it. This was a much more significant project than the usual WPA projects like new parks.

2. VIEW OF WEST SIDE OF BRIDGE IN UP POSITION FOR PASSING SHIP - Columbus Road Lift Bridge, Spanning Cuyahoga River at Columbus Road, Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, OH
Jonathan Konopka posted to Movable Bridges on July 18, 2022
Looking at the Columbus Road Bridge in Cleveland before the replacement in 2014.
Photo is courtesy of RealStill.com.

It appears that the rebuild retained the grade in the span. The near (south) end looks significantly higher than the far end. According to Historic Bridges, it is a 5% grade.
Street View, in the background is the Flats Industrial Railroad Bridge

Bill Kloss posted
Eugene P. Thomas at Irishtown Bend on the Cuyahoga River. G tug Iowa assisting. A Chuck Drumm photo from my collection. No exact date given other than 1976.
The bridge appears to be Columbus Road.
103rd Street has a similar bridge design, but it is not part of Irishtown Bend.
Bill Kloss: It is.

I include a closeup of the truss span because Historic Bridge is upset that they built a new span rather than patch the old one or build a new one using old truss techniques. Personally, I think the hex cutouts are rather neat. Also, they did use lattice on the bottom of the main portal beam. Furthermore, they used a Pratt truss design rather than a more modern Warren truss. From an overview photo, it is hard to determine if the truss is 1940 or 2013. Both spans have a camelback design with eleven panels. Even the control and machinery buildings are similar. It strikes me as a nice compromise between a replica of the old truss and an efficient modern design. And a span replacement allowed them to build the new 250' span offsite and float it in. Unlike the Chicago River, this river still has freight ship traffic so river outages are significant.
Street View, Jun 2019

During a 72-hour river closure, American Bridge floated out the old span, re-plumbed the towers with hydraulic jacks and floated in the new span.




[Yep, the new span is still on a grade.]

So far, (Jan 2022) I've documented seven lift bridges in Cleveland. I can't use the top of the towers to identify the lift bridge. But I was able to the electrification of the Cleveland Union Terminal Viaduct in the background to find this bridge.
Al Miller updated
This week’s banner photo shows the Eugene W. Pargny upbound on the Cuyahoga River at Irish Bend. The photo was shot by Chuck Drumm and posted by Bill Kloss.

Dennis DeBruler commented on Al's update
I'm going to have to remember where Irish Bend is located. There are at least seven lift bridges in Cleveland, but only one with a viaduct carrying electrified track next to it.

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