Being from the Cleveland area I appreciate a nice bridge. Bridge beauty is often in the eye of the beholder but Weinland Parks actually has some interesting bridges. This is one of a set of 1917 bridges from the New York Central railroad line. The bridges are on 5th Avenue, 11th Avenue and 17th Avenue with a matching retaining wall connecting them. All are deck and girder bridges with some nice brackets and coffered concrete. The railing is a particularly pleasant design.

The bridge on 17th Avenue has New York Central stenciled in the concrete coffers although the line was originally the Columbus, Cincinnati, Chicago & St Louis Railroad hence the eponymous name of the adjacent alley, Big Four Street, the nickname of the C.C.C. & St. L. Railroad.  New York Central was probably responsible for the grade separation 1917 being near the end of the golden age of grade separation. Grade separations were often paid for by the railroad in exchange for future municipal right-of-ways. Before that you just took your chances crossing six tracks with the predictable carnage ensuing.

Bridge on 5th Avenue with paint maintenance stencil from 1955. The Rustoleum paint was actually in pretty good shape considering it was under a railroad bridge for the last 55 years.

It’s going to take a little more urban exploration but there ought to be a builders plaque somewhere.

This nice concrete closed spandrel bridge was built in 1925 in comjunction with the 2420 foot Pennsylvania Railroad viaduct over the State Fair grounds seen on the right. The platform and mushroom column construction was pioneered around 1910. It was always planned to have the exhibition space underneath.  Currently dairy cows and steers reside there each year.  From 1888 to 1934 there was an interurban platform on the New York Central line in conjunction with the terminus of the streetcar line on Chittenden Avenue. That would have been convenient!

The closed and open spandrel bridges became popular designs during the WPA period for many road bridges in Ohio.

 

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