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Roebling Bridge

Covington and Cincinnati Suspension Bridge

Roebling Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: May 6, 2006

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Multiple Roads/Routes Over Ohio River
Location
Cincinnati and Covington: Hamilton County, Ohio and Kenton County, Kentucky: United States
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1866 By Builder/Contractor: John A. Roebling Sons Company of Trenton, New Jersey

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
1899
Main Span Length
1,057 Feet (322 Meters)
Structure Length
2,162 Feet (659 Meters)
Roadway Width
25 Feet (7.62 Meters)
Spans
3 Main Span(s) and 16 Approach Span(s)
NBI Number
059B00048N

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)

Bridge Documentation

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

View Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) Documentation For This Bridge

HAER Data Pages, PDF

Visit HABS HAER's Second Smaller Entry For This Historic Bridge

View Historic Documentation of Bridge

View Historic Documentation Drawings Showing The Tower Layout And Restoration

View Historical Article Discussing Stiffening Truss Replacement

With a construction date of 1866, this is among the greatest and most important historic bridges in the United States.

While this bridge is classified as a suspension bridge, it is as much a cable-stayed bridge since it includes cable-stays as well. This hybrid design is a trademark of Roebling Bridges. It is ironic that Roebling used cable stays on his bridges that were built so long ago. Cable-stays pretty much died out along with Roebling for over a century until they re-popularized in recent years. Nearly all long-span bridges built in the 21st century are cable-stayed bridges.

A major rehabilitation occurred to this bridge when the stiffening truss and deck was replaced in the 1890s. This means a major part of the bridge is really 1890s materials, not 1866. However, these alterations are themselves historic, since they date to the 1890s. They do not diminish the national significance of the historic bridge.

People often compare this bridge to New York City's Brooklyn Bridge, which is much larger, but is also slightly newer. Certainly, the Brooklyn Bridge is a magnificent structure, but the Roebling Bridge holds its own in comparison. The bridge is older and a sort of prototype that provided Roebling with the experience needed to successfully execute the Brooklyn Bridge project. Visually, the bridge is on the same level as the Brooklyn Bridge. While not as large, it has many ornate/aesthetic details. The arched stiffening truss that is filled with visually pleasing v-lacing and lattice on the Roebling Bridge offers quite a different aesthetic than the slightly plainer, boxy stiffening truss on the Brooklyn Bridge. The Roebling Bridge's stiffening truss has a graceful arch to it.

Above: Early 20th Century Photo of Bridge. Source: Library of Congress

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Photo Galleries and Videos: Roebling Bridge

 
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Original / Full Size Gallery
Original / Full Size Photos
For the best visual immersion and full detail, or for use as a desktop background, this gallery presents selected overview and detail photos for this bridge in the original digital camera resolution. This gallery offers photos in the highest available resolution and file size in a touch-friendly popup viewer. Alternatively, Browse Without Using Viewer
View Photo Gallery
Structure Overview
Mobile Optimized Photos
A collection of overview photos that show the bridge as a whole and general areas of the bridge. This gallery features data-friendly, fast-loading photos in a touch-friendly popup viewer. Alternatively, Browse Without Using Viewer
View Photo Gallery
Structure Details
Mobile Optimized Photos
A collection of detail photos that document the parts, construction, and condition of the bridge. This gallery features data-friendly, fast-loading photos in a touch-friendly popup viewer. Alternatively, Browse Without Using Viewer
View Photo Gallery
2010 Bridge Painting Documentation
Original / Full Size Photos
A collection of overview and detail photos. This gallery offers photos in the highest available resolution and file size in a touch-friendly popup viewer. Alternatively, Browse Without Using Viewer
View Photo Gallery
2010 Bridge Painting Documentation
Mobile Optimized Photos
A collection of overview and detail photos. This gallery features data-friendly, fast-loading photos in a touch-friendly popup viewer. Alternatively, Browse Without Using Viewer

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Maps and Links: Roebling Bridge

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