Eagle Avenue Bridge

The Eagle Avenue Bridge, a Pennsylvania through truss vertical lift bridge, spans the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland, Ohio.

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The Eagle Avenue Bridge, a Pennsylvania through truss vertical lift bridge, spanned the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland, Ohio, linking the Scranton Peninsula to downtown Cleveland.

The Eagle Avenue Bridge, along with its eastern viaduct approach, was constructed as an integral component of the Cleveland Union Terminal project. 3 This extensive project included the building of Terminal Tower and a combined railroad station on Public Square. A significant aspect of this development was the construction of new railway tracks. To accommodate these tracks, it was necessary to dismantle the Smead Rolling Road which featured a ramp and mechanical system integrated into the concrete roadbed of Eagle Avenue. Its primary function was to assist in hauling wagons from the Flats area up to Ontario Street.

Designed by Waddell & Hardesty, the bridge’s construction was undertaken by Spencer, White & Prentiss of Detroit, Michigan, from 1930 to 1931. 1 The McMyler Interstate Company of Bedford and Cleveland, Ohio, and the Walsh Construction Company provided assistance, while the Stobel Steel Construction Company of Chicago, Illinois, supplied the steel. This bridge was notable for being the city’s first vertical lift bridge, which had a span of 225 feet and a width of 52 feet. 4

The 1,998-foot east viaduct approach was a reinforced concrete structure with a metal deck girder structure atop the Stones Levee Bridge. 1 4


The Eagle Avenue Bridge underwent rehabilitation in 1991 but was taken out of service in 2004 due to structural concerns, specifically regarding a column. 1 2 The connecting viaduct and a ramp to West 3rd Street were subsequently removed in 2005. 3 Following this, the Eagle Avenue Bridge remained in a permanently raised position. 2 3

Over the years, the City of Cleveland considered various options for the Eagle Avenue Bridge, including stabilization at the cost of $9.3 million, relocation without restoring its lifting functionality at the cost of $29 million, and full replacement, which would have cost $58.87 million. 2 3 However, a 2022 inspection revealed that the bridge required complete removal due to severe corrosion on its trusses and vertical support structures. 2

On November 20, 2023, the Cleveland City Council approved the demolition of the Eagle Avenue Bridge. 2 Demolition is scheduled to commence in July 2024 and is expected to continue until May 2025. The cost of the demolition is estimated at $3.3 million, with $750,000 funded by the city and $2.5 million contributed by the Ohio Department of Transportation, which is overseeing the demolition work.




  1. Holth, Nathan. “Eagle Avenue Viaduct.” Historic Bridges, 25 Jun. 2007.
  2. Astolfi, Courtney “Eagle Avenue bridge, Cleveland’s first vertical lift-bridge, slated for demolition.” Cleveland.com, 21 Nov. 2023.
  3. Prendergast, Ken. “Eagle Avenue lift bridge to be demolished.” NEOtrans, 23 Jun. 2023.
  4. Bluestone, Daniel M., ed. “Eagle Avenue Viaduct.” Cleveland: An Inventory of Historic Engineering and Industrial Sites, Historic American Engineering Record, 1978, p. 91.

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