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This bridge is next to the Newburg and Southshore Railroad Bridge.
The alterations made to the Carter Road Bridge bridge, which is one of a number of vertical lift bridges in Cleveland, were so severely invasive, that the project really qualifies as reconstructive rehabilitation rather than a preservation project. The entire main riveted truss span appears to have been demolished and replaced with a bolted truss span. This modern span has the same overall appearance as the original span, but does not use rivets for the connections, nor does it use any built-up members. These alterations might not seem critical to a casual viewer, but anyone who has worked with historic bridges will quickly notice this, and find the bridge less appealing visually. Only the towers appear to contain original materials.
Certainly, what was done to this structure was better than outright demolition. Indeed, preservation is often about compromise, and trying to find a solution that fits both parties. Perhaps this was the only option available here. However, it would be tragic to see such an invasive project done to all of Cleveland's historic bridges. At least a couple of the city's vertical lift bridges deserve a genuine restoration project that retains as many original materials as possible, and replaces any damaged parts with replicas. For instance, a riveted built-up beam that was not able to be repaired would be replaced with an exact replica... built-up and using rivets.
Be sure to review the HAER page for the bridge, as it contains a narrative history, and photos of the bridge prior to alteration.
Finally, the HSR rating below reflects the bridge as it is today, not prior to alteration. The rating is low, given the number of vertical lifts in Cleveland and the nation that retain original truss spans. Oddly, the Historic Bridge Inventory, which normally finds bridges with such severe alteration to be ineligible for the National Register of Historic Places, did not comment on or was unaware of these alterations.
Information and Findings From Ohio's Historic Bridge Inventory
The vertical lift bridge has a 220'-long lift main span flanked by approach spans. This is a Waddell-design with the battered built-up steel towers, concrete counterweights, and operators house perched in the center of the span. The trussed lift span is a Pratt configuration with polygonal upper chord.
Summary of Significance
One of four vertical lift highway bridges over the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland, the 1940 Carter Road Bridge is a complete example of the movable bridge type. There has been no significant change in the bridge's
status since the prior inventory. The eligible recommendation remains appropriate.
Five of the seven vertical lift or swing span movable bridges are located in industrial Cleveland over the Cuyahoga River and date to 1901. Their ranks are augmented by the many vertical lift, swing span and rolling lift bridges that carry railroads over navigable water. Railroad bridges are not included in this database, but they certainly represent their technologies as well as the vehicular examples, and when considered as a whole population, the bridge types are common. The bridge has moderate significance.
Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: Yes
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