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Stones Levee Bridge

Stones Levee Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: June 24, 2007

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Stones Levee Road Over Railroad
Location
Cleveland: Cuyahoga County, Ohio: United States
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1908 By Builder/Contractor: Interstate Building Company

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
1964
Main Span Length
114.2 Feet (34.81 Meters)
Structure Length
121 Feet (36.88 Meters)
Roadway Width
18 Feet (5.49 Meters)
Spans
1 Main Span(s)
NBI Number
1866389

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)

Bridge Documentation

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

This bridge shares an intimate history with the Eagle Avenue Viaduct, which was demolished in 2005 with the exception of the vertical lift span. When the viaduct was built in 1928, it was built right over this 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.

The Stones Levee Bridge is historically significant as one of the oldest truss bridges in Cleveland. It is also significant for being an uncommon highway example of a Baltimore truss configuration. The bridge features aesthetic qualities as well. The presence of v-lacing on the end posts and top chord is an uncommon, and welcome feature that adds to the beauty of the truss.

The loss of the viaduct is unfortunate, but it is worth noting that Stones Levee Bridge is a lot easier to photo now, and is much more photogenic. However, the Stones Levee Bridge has not been cared for, despite its historic and aesthetic value. The bridge has no paint, and rust is doing serious damage. However, the bridge could and should be restored, perhaps for pedestrian use. The bridge's parts should be sandblasted and cleaned, and worn parts replaced with replicated period-design parts, and the structure should be painted. Also, the ugly cyclone fencing on the bridge should be done away with.

Information and Findings From Ohio's Historic Bridge Inventory

Setting/Context

The bridge carries a 2 lane city street and sidewalks over tracks of the B&O RR in a depressed section in downtown Cleveland. The setting is industrial.

Physical Description

The 1 span, 121'-long, rivet-connected Warren with verticals and subdivided panels thru truss bridge is heavily built with built-up members and cantilevered sidewalks with pipe railings. It has concrete abutments.

Integrity

Has integrity.

Summary of Significance

The 1908 rivet-connected Warren pony truss is among the early and complete examples of the truss type/design that would dominate county road truss bridge building in Ohio during the 20th century. There has been no significant change in the bridge's status since the prior inventory. The eligible recommendation remains appropriate.

Warren trusses are the most common design found in Ohio and the nation. The Ohio Phase 1A survey (2008) has identified more than 500 examples dating from 1897 to 1961, accounting for well over half of the approximately 800 pre-1961 metal trusses. The Warren design was particularly well suited to rigid (riveted, and later welded connections), but not as well suited to pin connections; this helps to explain its popularity in the 20th century rather than the 19th century, although it is based on a British patent issued to engineers James Warren and Willoughby Monzani in 1848. In the U.S., the popularity of the Warren truss coincided with improvements in pneumatic field riveting equipment starting about 1900. The Warren, which is based on a series of equilateral triangles, is identified by its simplicity of design, ease of construction with equal-sized members, and ability of some diagonals to act in both tensions and compression. Warren trusses are often stiffened by the addition of verticals; they can also have polygonal (sloped) upper chords to achieve greatest depth at midspan.

Warren trusses were a standard design of the Ohio State Highway Department in the 1910s and 1920s, but they achieved their greatest popularity with county engineers, who purchased the bridges from Ohio fabricators such as the Champion Bridge Co. and the Mt. Vernon Bridge Co. Fewer than 12 surviving rivet-connected Warren trusses date prior to 1910, and they represent the period when the rivet-connected design solidified its position as the most popular prefabricated county truss design.

A noteworthy change in the technological development of Warren trusses was the transition from riveted to welded connections that began in the mid to late 1930s. The development was based on improvements in arc-welding equipment and the propagation of welding techniques as a substitute for riveting in many fields of construction, such as steel-hull ships and steel-frame buildings. While most of Ohio's remaining truss fabricators went out of business in the depression of the 1930s, Ohio Bridge Corporation (OBC) of Cambridge grew its business on the development of a standard weld-connected Warren pony truss with polygonal upper chords in the years immediately following WWII. OBC remains in operation and many Ohio counties continue to find the weld-connected Warren trusses to be a desirable economical alternative to other bridge types. More than 360 of the 500 Warren trusses in the study are weld-connected and most are attributable to OBC from the late 1940s to 1960. It is the early examples of weld-connected Warren trusses dating from the mid 1930s to mid 1940s that are the technologically significant examples.

Justification

The bridge is one of over 40 extant riveted thru truss bridges of all designs built between 1904 and 1959. This example is representative of the population and has moderate significance. There are also many riveted thru truss bridges servicing the many rail lines in the state.

Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: Yes

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Photo Galleries and Videos: Stones Levee Bridge

 
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