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Brighton Approach Bridge

Colerain Viaduct

Brighton Approach Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: September 22, 2019

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Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Colerain Avenue Ramp Over Central Parkway (US-27, US-127, US-52)
Location
Cincinnati: Hamilton County, Ohio: United States
Structure Type
Concrete Continuous T-Beam, Fixed
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1925 By Builder/Contractor: Unknown and Engineer/Design: City of Cincinnati
Rehabilitation Date
Not Available or Not Applicable
Main Span Length
51.0 Feet (15.5 Meters)
Structure Length
110.0 Feet (33.5 Meters)
Roadway Width
32.2 Feet (9.81 Meters)
Spans
7 Main Span(s)
Inventory Number
3101533

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)
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Bridge Documentation

This bridge's future is at risk!

Bridge Status: This bridge is at risk for demolition and replacement!

This overpass bridge is noted for its deep, heavy beams and curved design.

Total length given is the length of bridge structure. If the southern approach ramp (which is not a bridge but has the same railing as the bridge) is included the total length is about 393 feet.

View Archived National Bridge Inventory Report - Has Additional Details and Evaluation

Information and Findings From Ohio's Historic Bridge Inventory

Setting/Context

The bridge carries a 2 lane street over a 4-lane parkway in a setting of late 19th to early 20th century commercial/residential development in the West End Community section of Cincinnati. Central Parkway is a 4-lane boulevard with sidewalks and grass verges. The parkway is cut into a shelf on the side of the hill. The downhill side of the boulevard has concrete balustrades. The uphill side is a concrete retaining wall set into the side of the hill. At the western end of the viaduct is a commercial district of 3 to 4-story buildings dating by style to ca. 1880-1920. The commercial district appears to have historic district potential. At the eastern end of the viaduct is a residential area of buildings dating ca. 1900-1930, but with numerous modern alterations/additions. The residential area to the east does not appear to have the consistency or integrity of a potential historic district.

Central Parkway: Cincinnati's Central Parkway is a 4.8-mile long and 23-acre linear parkway connecting downtown Cincinnati with the suburb of Cumminsville. The parkway was first proposed in 1907 by noted landscape architect George Edward Kessler as part of a master plan for the city. The parkway was to make use of the old Miami & Erie Canal (est. 1825), which had fallen into decline, but provided a relatively broad and level right-of-way for the parkway. By the time construction began in 1920, the parkway concept had been combined with a project to build the Cincinnati Subway in an effort to address traffic congestion. The subway was built in the old canal bed, which was deepened and widened to accept the tubes. The parkway was built atop the subway. The parkway opened in 1928, but the subway, which suffered from significant cost overruns, never operated even though the tunnel under the parkway and three of the stations were seen to completion. Openings to the tunnels can be found to the west of the Colerain Viaduct. The four-lane parkway features broad sidewalks, scenic overlooks of the valley below, mature trees, and benches. Retaining walls on both the uphill and downhill sides of the parkway are uniformly finished with concrete balustrades.

Physical Description

The skewed, 7 span, 110'-long, continuous T beam bridge has concrete balustrades and is supported on reinforced concrete bents. The bridge is built on a vertical profile that slopes steeply downhill from east to west. The western end of the bridge is built on a horizontal curve with the fasciae beams curved to match the profile of the roadway. The framing pattern of the interior beams and bent caps varies in angle from span to span to handle the skew and the curve in the street. The bridge has period light standards with fluted posts and luminaires that are either original or good replicas of the original.

Integrity

Concrete parapet with tubular handrail and safety-shape roadway face has been placed inside of the original balustrades. Chain link fences have been added to the main spans.

Summary of Significance

The Colerain Viaduct is historically significant in association with Cincinnati's Central Parkway/Cincinnati Subway, an ambitious multi-modal project that has come both to symbolize the success of the city's 1907 master park plan, designed by noted landscape architect George E. Kessler, as well as the equivocal attempts to come to terms with traffic congestion, in which a well-intentioned mass transit plan fell victim to high cost and the automobile (Criteria A & C). The viaduct is an integral part of a larger resource that includes the parkway, subway tubes, and stations. The bridge is also a good example of the T beam bridge type/design, and although not individually significant for its technology, it illustrates the adaptability of reinforced-concrete to form a bridge with curved beams to match the horizontal curvature of the roadway and form a viaduct with relatively pleasing lines in keeping with the parkway setting.

Justification

The bridge is a common type that derives its significance from its historic association with Cincinnati's Central Parkway.

Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: Yes

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Maps and Links: Brighton Approach Bridge

Coordinates (Latitude, Longitude):

Search For Additional Bridge Listings:

Bridgehunter.com: View listed bridges within 0.5 miles (0.8 kilometers) of this bridge.

Bridgehunter.com: View listed bridges within 10 miles (16 kilometers) of this bridge.

HistoricBridges.org Bridge Browser: View listed bridges within 0.5 miles (0.8 kilometers) of this bridge.

HistoricBridges.org Bridge Browser: View listed bridges within 10 miles (16 kilometers) of this bridge.

2021 National Bridge Inventory: View listed bridges within 0.5 miles (0.8 kilometers) of this bridge.

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