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HLNEO - Chronology Page

Main Avenue Bridge

The timeline of structures at this location reflects our best information to date and is NOT guaranteed to be complete.

Structure #1

Bridge Type:Float
Years Existed:1854-?
Background Information: The original Main Street Float Bridge was owned by Cleveland and Ohio City (Encyclopedia of Cleveland History).

Structure #2

Bridge Type:Swing Bridge
Years Existed:1869-1947
Background Information: One of Cleveland's first iron bridges, the Main Street Swing Bridge was completed on July 3rd, 1869, three hundred feet from where Cleveland's first three log huts stood. The original swing bridge was hand cranked and its dimensions were 200 feet in length and 31 feet in width. During the course of the 78 years the bridge existed, it had two major renovations. In 1885, the bridge was rebuilt to become steam operated. In 1915, the bridge was moved over and the approaches were built longer to allow larger vessels to enter the Cuyahoga River. Before the bridge was torn down in 1947, records in 1943 indicate that the bridge was swinging 9000 times a year. (Moveable Bridges on the Cuyahoga, Bridges of Metropolitan Cleveland, Bridges of Cleveland and Cuyahoga County, and the Encyclopedia of Cleveland History)

Structure #3

Harold H. Burton Memorial Bridge Bridge Type:Bridge/Viaduct
Years Existed:1939-Present
Background Information: The Main Avenue Bridge connects Ohio Route 2 across the Cuyahoga River along the sunny shores of Lake Erie. This bridge was designed by Wilbur Watson and the Cuyahoga County Engineer, John O. McWilliams's staff. It rises 100 feet above the Cuyahoga River and this 6-lane bridge is the longest elevated structure in Ohio at 8,000 feet, which includes the river span and approach ramps. The Main Avenue Bridge was opened on October 6, 1939 with more than a thousand people in attendance. Construction for this $7.5 million project began in May of 1938 with funds from Cuyahoga County and the Public Works Administration. Five lives were lost during the project. The structure was extensively repaired in 1978. In 1986 the bridge was rededicated in honor of Harold H. Burton, a former mayor of Cleveland. From April 1991 to October 1992 the bridge was closed for extensive repair and improvements. In 1995 the bridge carried 45,647 automobiles across the Cuyahoga River(Bridges of Metropolitan Cleveland,Bridges of Cleveland and Cuyahoga County, Encyclopedia of Cleveland History, and Cleveland's Historic Bridges: Architectural and Engineering Masterpieces).