Ohio Roads - Superior Viaduct

Superior Viaduct, Cleveland

Heading northeast on the approach road that's still called Superior Viaduct, starting at W. 25th St. The Viaduct stealthily gains elevation after 24th St., maintaining sidewalk connections into buildings so that you don't realize how high off the ground you are until you park and look over the side. And that's all the viaduct is used for now, after the parallel Detroit-Superior Bridge opened in 1917. See, this viaduct was Superior to everything that came before it when it opened in 1878 because it was the first high-level bridge that only needed to open for the tallest ships, but the new bridge connecting to Detroit Ave. was Superior to this one because it was high enough not to need any openings, so the viaduct closed in 1923 and has been used for parking ever since. (Actually, Superior is the name of the avenue that connects/ed to these bridges to the east.) In the first couple of photos you can see the 1957 B&O Railroad bridge, abandoned and permanently open, and the 1939 Main Ave. Bridge that carries OH 2.

Looking back west from where I came. The streetcars were moved to the Detroit-Superior Bridge when it opened so that their service wouldn't be interrupted by bridge openings, but the tracks haven't been removed 100 years later.

Cuyahoga River crossings, panning from left to right at Center St.: Main Ave., 1957 Norfolk Southern bridge (raised), closeup of B&O, plenty of views of Detroit-Superior. Behind the latter, you can see the 1929 Cuyahoga (railroad) Viaduct in white, 1953 Flats Industrial Railroad Bridge (raised), and, in the closeup, the underdeck trusses of the 1932 Hope Memorial Bridge carrying OH 10 and the 1959 Innerbelt Bridge carrying I-90.

No, I didn't forget about the little red bridge below. It's the 1901 Center Street Bridge, newer than the Viaduct but still low-level instead of high-level. Just to its left is this matching building that was the historic Engine Company #15 fire boat station. It's like a fire station, but aquatic.

Let's head down to the surface streets for some underbelly viaduct views. These are from Washington Ave. WB on the north side, near the base of the western viaduct approach. (The eastern approach is gone.)

The first arch visible from Detroit Ave. on the south side, east from 24th St., once had a railroad going through it. Now, just like the viaduct, it's all parking.

The best views are from Elm Ave. because that's the tallest remaining viaduct arch undercrossing. Compare these WB photos with the first set of photos and realize how deceptive the elevation change is.

Elm Ave. facing east.

Down to the Center Street Bridge
Over to the Detroit-Superior Bridge, US 6/20/42/OH 3
Over the Main Ave. Bridge, OH 2
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