Two Parallel Railroad Bridges
Rather unassuming but equally as important, two Pratt through truss bridges in Columbus, Ohio carried the Hocking Valley (HV) Railroad and the Toledo & Ohio Central (T&OC) Railroad over the Scioto River near downtown. The westernmost span was constructed for the HV while the easternmost span was constructed for the T&OC, and both carried dual tracks. The HV bridge was located immediately north of their Mound Street Yard.
Groundbreaking for the HV occurred on June 5, 1867 in Columbus, with the lower and upper HV spans over the Scioto River being completed on April 29, 1868.
There isn’t all that much information on the bridges in general, but it is known that the steel griders to the immediate north for the HV were replaced in 1910, and it is surmised that the Scioto River Bridge was replaced at that time. The T&OC bridges north of the Scioto River were replaced in 1920, and it is surmised that the Scioto River Bridge was replaced at that time. The 1910 and 1920 dates are sourced from the National Bridge Inventory.
From a dating perspective, that would correlate to their appearance. The HV bridge is to the right, and features slightly lighter gauge steel and more intricate trusses, whereas the T&OC bridge has heavier steelwork and less decorative elements.
The HV eventually went under the control of the Chesapeake & Ohio, later known as CSX. On June 1, 1999, Conrail was split between CSX and Norfolk Southern, with CSX receiving a 42% share of the ex-New York Central Lines, including the former T&OC line from Columbus north. With both the HV and the T&OC under CSX control, they commanded use of both Scioto River bridges north of the Mound Street Yard.
The Rich Street underpass was built in 1910 and surmised to have been enlarged in 1920. It was built as a five track alignment, with four mains and one siding, although the siding tracks were later removed.