Stow residents have a chance to visit historic landmark

July 16, 2013 by  

Stow residents and others from the Cleveland area had a chance to go back in time recently, asthe Cuyahoga County Department of Public Works allowed visitors to walk the lower deck of the Detroit-Superior Bridge earlier this month.

The structure, also known as Veteran’s Memorial Bridge, spans the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland. The bridge is about 36 miles from Stow.

The department opens the bridge to pedestrian traffic annually, and thousands of visitors took advantage of the opportunity to walk the bridge this year. The structure is unusual in that it is a “double-decker” bridge, with the road deck above and a lower deck meant for streetcars below. Many of the older visitors remember riding the streetcars and were happy to revisit those memories. Oddly, the streetcars first went into tunnels at each end of the bridge, and then climbed onto the lower deck itself. Some riders said it was “scary”, since the streetcars were open and it was possible to look out of the cars and see the river 96 feet below.

The bridge is still open to cars but the streetcars have long since disappeared. However, the bridge is important to the region’s history and is a prime example of the ingenious engineering projects that took place in the United States early in the 20th century. Visitors to the bridge this year were able to listen to historians discuss the bridge and its importance.

Cuyahoga County might consider working with brochure printers to create hand-outs for next year’s ‘open house’, describing the streetcar service and the bridge’s importance to the history of the region.