Monday, April 30, 2012

Norfolk & Western Railroad Bridge

Photo showing new N & W bridge and old swing bridge ( Courtesy Morning Journal)
In early April, I posted an article about the Colonial Hotel that was sent to me from former Lorainite Jim Mihalek. Jim also sent me some great 1974 newspaper clippings about the then-new Norfolk & Western railroad bridge across the Lorain harbor. I had no memory that the bridge was so new when we sketched it in art class in fall of 1974 (back here).

The bridge replaced a 1907 swing bridge, which was cut up for scrap afterwards.

The caption for the photo above which ran in the Lorain Journal read, "RISING TO SEAWAY specified heights are these twin towers of the new $6.5 million Norfolk & Western Railroad Company bridge over the Black River. Soon the mid-section (a tip is visible in the bottom right of the photo) will be floated downstream and tied in. Then the old swing bridge (shown) and its concrete-bases will be removed. The new bridge will provide clearance of nearly double the present channel. This is the last major leg of a $22 million harbor and river improvement project begun under a federal financial commitment in 1960. Only a cut in the river bank opposite the American Ship's yards remains to complete the entire task.Engineers for the new bridge are Hardesty & Hanover and the superstructure is being handled by Allied Construction, Hammond, Ind. (Journal Photo by Scott Bruce)."

The photo below showing both bridges ran in the Chronicle-Telegram on June 16, 1974.

This photo (below) ran as part of the same C-T article. Its caption read, "SMALL BUT POWERFUL, a tug works to bring the center span into place."

Sunday was a beautiful day for photography, so I decided to get a few shots of the bridge as it looks today. (Click on each for that you-are-there experience!)

The view from the River Walk at Black River Landing
The view from Colorado Avenue looking west 
The view from the bypassed alignment of Broadway looking east
Thanks again to Jim for sharing his clippings!


ge13031 said...

Nice writeup Dan, Actually the "New" NKP swingbridge was built in 1904. If we could dig up a copy of "Engineering News" for September 22, 1904 we could see how they did it. The original swingbridge was taken out by a massive ice gorge that made a mess of the river. I have a set of pictures of the rebuild but the article could shed a lot of good info.

-Alan D Hopewell said...

We used to ride the end of the swing bridge out; it actually scraped a treetop. We'd dare each other to try climbing into the tree....none of us ever did.

jack said...

We also used to ride that bridge its amazing the thing we used to do and not get in trouble for it now they dont even want to to walk on the bridge

Anonymous said...

The small marine construction company that docked at the Falbo terminal was my Grandfather's company. My Father was the co-owner. The Shoreline Company
(closed in 1975)