Tuesday, November 15, 2022

1905-1960 Lost/W&LE First Joseph Strauss (SOC) Bridge, Cuyahoga River in Cleveland, OH

(Bridge Hunter; Satellite, no remnants)

SOC = Strauss Overhead Counterweight

I think the bridge in the background would be the 3rd Street Bridge. But the bend in the river is not consistent with today's crossing by the 3rd Street Bridge.
Figure via TheStraussBasculeBridgeCo via BridgeHunter, cropped

This is the same photo, but flipped. I'm going to assume the above view in a Strauss publication is the correct one.
Joseph Strauss started his bridge company in Chicago in 1902 and this was the first bridge that the company built. It was the first bascule bridge to use concrete instead of cast iron or even more expensive materials for the counterweight. But concrete was not as dense, thus it required a bigger counterweight. Rather than make the watertight tail pit bigger, which would be more expensive, he mounted the counterweight high above the tracks to completely eliminate the expense of the tail pit.

Drawing via GooglePatents via BridgeHunter

B is the span's main trunnion. F2, C3, C6 and C5 also pivot. E is the operating strut and E6 is the pinion that engages the rack on the bottom of the operating strut.
Digitally Zoomed

The yellow member should have been labeled dashed-C4. The dotted lines inside the red rectangle should not exist. As we see with dashed-C2, that strut ends at the counterweight with a fixed angle.
Zoomed plus Paint

W&LE had another bridge over the Cuyahoga River. But when I found that crossing still had a swing bridge in 1948, I looked for another W&LE crossing of the river. My 2005 SPV Map implied there was a crossing east of the 3rd Street Bridge. But a 1953 topo map did not show it. It must have been abandoned long before the 1960 removal date because a tank farm had been built on the W&LE right-of-way. Fortunately, there is a 1903 topo map that does show it. This bridge is in the upper-left corner and the other W&LE bridge is in the lower-right corner of this excerpt. Unfortunately, the oldest aerial photo I could find was just 1952. And the tank farm already existed. I wanted to see which side of the river had the tower to determine which of the flipped phots is correct.
1903 Cleveland Quad @ 62,500

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