Cincinnati’s 8th Street Viaduct
The 8th Street Viaduct in Cincinnati, Ohio connects Lower Price Hill to Queensgate and downtown. The first iteration of the viaduct was constructed in 1893, featuring all iron construction and a 20 foot wide deck. It carried two lanes of traffic and the 8th Street line of the Cincinnati Street Railway, which followed the viaduct to Warsaw Avenue, bypassing the Price Hill incline.
The completion of the incline in 1874 led to a housing boom in Price Hill. Commanding spectacular views of Cincinnati and offering a more rural atmosphere, away from the chaos and bustle of the Mill Creek valley, the incline carried thousands of people up and down the hillside. But the construction of the viaduct, and the completion of the streetcar into Price Hill, allowed for a quicker and more efficient means of transport into the neighborhood. The incline lumbered on until 1943.
In 1928, the 8th Street Viaduct was replaced with a new, concrete-reinforced span with a 40 foot deck that carried four lanes of traffic, in addition to the streetcar line. It cost $2 million to complete, and consisted of a 2,730 foot frame structure, 79 spans in total, with a 4 inch bridge deck with a concrete surface overlay. There were secondary access points at Evans Drive and Burns Drive.
In mid-2008, the viaduct was closed for six months while a $22 million rehabilitation project was undertaken on the then 79-year-old bridge. Out of 78, 22 deteriorated concrete piers were replaced during the closure. But there was more work to complete, as many expansion joints were removed, the bridge deck replaced, and a new driving surface installed, along with the installation of new recessed street lights and aluminum bridge railings. The Burns Street ramp was demolished and replaced with an entirely new span, and the remains of the Evans Drive ramps were removed.
In 2010, the 8th Street Viaduct rehabilitation project was completed.