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Interurban Bridge

Roche de Boeuf Bridge

Interurban Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: July 20, 2019

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Railroad (Abandoned Ohio Electric Interurban) Over Maumee River
Location
Waterville: Lucas County, Ohio and Wood County, Ohio: United States
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1907 By Builder/Contractor: National Concrete Company of Indianapolis, Indiana and Engineer/Design: Daniel Luten

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Not Available or Not Applicable
Main Span Length
90 Feet (27.4 Meters)
Structure Length
1,220 Feet (371.9 Meters)
Roadway Width
16 Feet (4.88 Meters)
Spans
12 Main Span(s)
NBI Number
Not Applicable

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)
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Bridge Documentation

This bridge's future is at risk!

Bridge Status: Slated for demolition.

This bridge is severely deteriorated having been abandoned for decades, but remains one of the largest and earliest Luten arch bridges in America. The bridge was built for the Ohio Electric Interurban. The bridge was built by the National Bridge Company of Indianapolis at a cost of more than $130,000. More than 130 men were employed in the construction of the bridge. The bridge was in operation between 1907 and 1937. Below photos showing the bridge under construction were taken around 1906. Today, the bridge is a long-abandoned ruin. On the east side, entire spandrel walls have fallen away revealing the earthen fill within. Small trees have even taken root in the bridge. Sadly, the bridge is now slated for demolition. The bridge was built on a rock outcropping of significance to Native American people called Roche de Boeuf.

ODOT provided the following timeline for this bridge:

1907 – Land bought by the Cincinnati & Lake Erie Railroad Company (formerly Lima and Toledo Traction Company).

1908  Interurban bridge constructed and used as an electric interurban trolley line.

1937 – Tracks removed and bridge abandoned.

1941 – Waterville bridge (Mechanic Street) collapses and the interurban bridge was used as a temporary automobile crossing due to shortage of steel during World War II.

1943  State of Ohio purchased the interurban bridge.

1946 – Traffic returned to the Waterville bridge (Mechanic Street) with new truss.

1972 – Interurban bridge listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

1974 – Roche de Boeuf Bridge Historical Society made an unsuccessful effort to preserve the bridge.

1983 – ODOT deemed the bridge unsafe for equipment traffic. The structure is no longer considered a bridge because it does not carry traffic and is not over vehicular traffic. It does not get a structure file number or yearly inspections like all other bridges owned by public agencies.

View National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form For This Bridge

View Pages From Historical Luten Catalog Showing This Bridge

Above: Historical photo showing bridge construction.

Above: Historical photo showing bridge construction.

Above: Historical photo showing bridge construction.

Above: Historical photo showing newly completed bridge.

Above: Historical photo from Luten company publication showing newly completed bridge.

Above: Historical photo from Luten company publication showing newly completed bridge.

Above: Historical photo showing rock outcrop before bridge construction.


This bridge is tagged with the following special condition(s): Luten

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Photo Galleries and Videos: Interurban Bridge

 
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