Vaughn Wascovich
Stacks Image 11504
Innerbelt Bridge, 2012
digital inkjet print
In 1959, the Innerbelt Bridge replaced an older bridge called the Central Viaduct that had been in use since 1888. The construction of the Central Viaduct, like the Superior Viaduct, represented a moment of tremendous civic pride for the growing city of Cleveland. An epic poem was written about the bridge in 1888. However, the old bridge’s proud history is clouded with disaster; on November 16, 1895, missing track parts caused a streetcar full of passengers to plummet into the river below. In 1914, part of the bridge was burned during a lumberyard fire. The Central Viaduct was condemned in 1941 and its five hundred tons of steel were converted into scraps to be used in the war. Almost twenty years followed before the new bridge was built. The Innerbelt Bridge measures almost 120 feet wide. This mega-bridge is the widest bridge in Ohio and its truss arch was a major achievement in bridge design. In 2009, the city announced its decision to replace the bridge as part of the Innerbelt Freeway Rebuild.