Central Bridge

The Central Bridge, or Cincinnati & Newport Bridge, opened in 1890 between the Suspension Bridge and the L&N Bridge.  It was the first "standard" cantilever truss bridge ever built -- a design since common throughout the world. The nearby  Clay Wade Bailey  (1974) and Brent Spence (1963) bridges are both standard cantilever truss bridges, similar to the old Central Bridge in their fundamentals.  Despite this distinction, no attempt was made to save the bridge by preservationists, and it was blown up in three stages in late 1992.  The four lane Taylor-Southgate Bridge opened in 1995 in the exact location of the old bridge.

The old Central Bridge had a two lane grated deck that made a nervous humming noise that could be heard from hundreds of feet away.  The piers were constructed of stone identical to that used for the nearby L&N Bridge, and the short approach spans were of a similar type and length.  The bridge did not line up directly with Broadway in Cincinnati, and so the north approach made an S-curve in its ascent to the bridge.  The north approach was dismantled in the mid 1970's to allow for construction of Riverfront Coliseum, and was rebuilt in direct alignment with the bridge.  The Taylor-Southgate Bridge was built with the approach still misaligned until Broadway itself was given an S-turn in 1999-2000 as part of the Fort Washington Way reconstruction. The only remaining piece of the Central Bridge is a stone retaining wall in Newport that supports the approach of the new Taylor-Southgate Bridge.

(late 1970's photo -- click to enlarge)

The Central Bridge in 1989.  (Larry Stulz  photo)

1. Central Bridge Photos & Post Cards

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