My office in the southwest corner of the top floor of the Skylight Office Tower in downtown Cleveland provides a great view point for the comings and goings on the Cuyahoga River below.
My last blog post dealt with the development of the Towpath reclamation project along the River south of Collision Bend. Today, I am witness to the beginning of the removal and replacement of the Columbus Road lift bridge which has connected Ohio City and Tremont to downtown Cleveland for 74 years. This bridge is the fourth bridge to occupy this historic spot since the initial bridge was installed in 1836.
The rusting mass of iron closed for good this morning, May 29, and the deck is to be cut away over the next few weeks. The deck will then shipped downriver by barge for disassembly. The photo at left taken from my office window shows the barge being pushed into place by a river tug.
I have used the bridge daily for the last 7+ years as a convenient entry route to the Tower City office complex from West 25th Street via I-90 from the western suburbs. Until the replacement bridge is finally open in June 2014, convenience flies out the window.
For all the reports about the bridge’s serious and “moldering” condition – undoubtedly true – the bridge deck has provided a much smoother ride than the moon-like surface of Columbus Road approaches on the north and south ends of the bridge. Let’s hope that some of the $34 million replacement cost which is being funded in large part with federal funds will be used to resurface those approaches which have caused more damage to automobiles than anything accounted for by the bridge itself.