Wednesday, May 4, 2016

The 14th Street Bridge: Lorain’s Bridge That Wasn’t Meant to Be

Full page ad from the October 24, 1929
Elyria Chronicle-Telegram
We've all driven over the High Level (or Lofton Henderson) Bridge many times. But did you know that the bridge was originally supposed to be constructed at 14th Street?

I had first heard of this by local historian Rick Kurish in an email.

As he explained, "While looking for information on the 31st Street Bridge a few days ago, I ran across the attached article (at left) urging a "yes" vote for the new county bridge at Lorain.

"What is interesting is that this article appeared in the Chronicle-Telegram of October 24, 1929.  If passed, a high level bridge would have been built across the Black River at 14th Street.

"The proposed bridge would have started at Reid Ave, and connected to Colorado Ave, and would have been almost a mile long. It's interesting to think how that might have changed downtown Lorain. The bad timing, and ironic, part of the effort was that the date of the article (Oct. 24) is considered the start of the great depression, and was known as "Black Thursday."

"The following Tuesday – "Black Tuesday” – was the day the stock market plummeted and lost a huge portion of its value. Needless to say, the bond issue for the bridge was defeated county-wide, and it was another ten years before a high level bridge was finally built, connecting 21st Street with Colorado Avenue.

"Interestingly, in this same election on November 5,1929 the county voters did vote "yes" to the building of the County Tuberculosis Sanitarium."

It’s certainly an intriguing idea of having a bridge at 14th.

It seems like it would have been a more direct route over the river (shorter at least). But it lacks that ability to connect up with U. S. 6, as State Route 611 does west of Lorain.

Thanks as always to Rick for his great suggestions for posts.

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