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This bridge has an unusual incline, which makes it noteworthy. This is similar to the Columbus Road Bridge. Like the Columbus Road Bridge, the Eagle Avenue Viaduct vertical lift bridge is also significant for its age. Indeed, the Eagle Avenue Viaduct vertical lift bridge is the oldest vertical lift in Cleveland, with a 1931 construction date. It also is noteworthy since its truss span features the Pennsylvania truss configuration.
The Eagle Avenue Viaduct originally consisted of this vertical lift bridge, as well as an extensive series of spans that led to the higher ground of the downtown area, and also provided grade separation for some rail lines. In this way, the viaduct shared an intimate history with the Stones Levee Bridge. When the viaduct was built in 1928, it was built right over the Stones Levee Bridge. People crossing the Stones Levee Bridge would be going under the viaduct, passing in between the steel bent supports of the viaduct. See the photo gallery for a few photos from ODOT showing this.
Today, all that remains of the viaduct is this vertical lift bridge, which has been abandoned in its raised position.
A number of prominent companies were associated with the construction of this bridge. Spencer, White and Prentiss of Detroit, Michigan were the general contractors. However, the noteworthy Stobel Steel Construction Company of Chicago, Illinois supplied steel for the bridge. McMyler Interstate Company of Bedford and Cleveland, Ohio helped to build the bridge along with Walsh Construction Company
Information and Findings From Ohio's Historic Bridge Inventory
The vertical lift bridge has a 187'-long lift main span flanked by approach spans. This is a classic 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 and substruts.
Summary of Significance
One of four vertical lift highway bridges over the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland, the 1930-31 Eagle Avenue Bridge is a complete example of the movable bridge type. It was the first vertical lift built in Cleveland.
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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