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Wheeling and Lake Erie Railroad Bridge

Wheeling and Lake Erie Railroad Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Nietering

Bridge Documented: August 22, 2009

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Railroad (Wheeling and Lake Erie) Over Maumee River
Toledo: Lucas County, Ohio: United States
Structure Type
Metal Pin-Connected Pratt Through Truss, Movable: Swing (Center Bearing) and Approach Spans: Metal 7 Panel Pin-Connected Pratt Through Truss, Fixed

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Not Available or Not Applicable
Main Span Length
345 Feet (105.2 Meters)
Structure Length
1,315 Feet (400.8 Meters)
Roadway Width
Not Available
1 Main Span(s) and 7 Approach Span(s)
NBI Number
Not Applicable

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)
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Bridge Documentation

This bridge appears to have a complicated and somewhat confusing history. Reportedly, the bridge is shorter than the bridge it replaced as some length was filled in. The previous bridge was 9 spans of 177 feet each and a swing span of 340 feet. One of the spans of this previous bridge was not original and was steel and was reused in the replacement bridge. The approach truss spans of the replacement bridge are 180 feet, with the exception of the one next to the swing span on the northwest side which is 150 feet. In 1897, the March 19 issue of the Railway Age reports that Detroit Bridge and Iron Works were building the four 180 foot approach spans, but then says that the swing span had been recently rebuilt in steel and was in good condition suggesting someone else replaced that span. Another article, November 13, 1897 of the Railway and Engineering Review, states that the Edge Moor Bridge Company was building nine bridges for this railroad including the one at the Maumee River in Toledo. To the best of HistoricBridges.org's knowledge, the swing span was built by Edge Moor and the approach spans were built by Detroit Bridge and Iron Works. In 1914, the 150 foot truss span next to the swing span was pushed into the river in an accident. It may have been repaired and reused, but this is not known for sure. Thanks to John Marvig for assisting with this research.

View Historical Article About This Bridge

This is one of several railroad swing bridges on the Maumee River. Each is significant as a complete, large truss bridge including extensive approach truss spans and a main swing span. This is an active bridge, and is in a location that is difficult to photograph  from land. Thanks to Mr. Nietering's efforts however, photos of this bridge are brought to you from the perspective of a boat.


Photo Galleries and Videos: Wheeling and Lake Erie Railroad Bridge

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Maps and Links: Wheeling and Lake Erie Railroad Bridge

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