The Craig Memorial Bridge carries OH Route 65 over the Maumee River in Toledo, Ohio.
After the Cherry Street Bridge was destroyed in the flood of 1883, the city of Toledo towed remnants of the bridge downstream, constructed two new spans and created the Ash-Consaul Bridge. 1 It was demolished in 1957 for the Craig Memorial Bridge, then a part of OH Route 120. 4
The first section of the relocated OH Route 120 was opened between US Route 20 and OH Route 51 in 1955 and extended north to Summit Street in Toledo in 1957, which required the completion of a Maumee River double-leaf bascule drawbridge. 5 By 1959, the highway was completed to Michigan as the Toledo-Detroit Expressway and signed as OH Route 120 south of Summit Street and US Route 24A north of Summit Street. 6 7
The state of Ohio requested that Interstate 77 be designated for the Toledo-Detroit Expressway in 1958, which had that time would have connected Marietta to Cleveland, and then westward to Detroit and Port Huron, Michigan. 7 Interstate 77 was truncated to Cleveland by August and the route through Toledo was redesignated as Interstate 280. The changes were approved in November.
As the highway was constructed prior to the development of the Interstate Highway System, Interstate 280 featured substandard geometry and bridges throughout its length. The highway was not brought up to modern standards south of East Toledo until 1990 as it contained seven at-grade intersections. 7 But the drawbridge and its network of ramps on both ends was an obstacle.
By 1996, the Maumee River crossing opened on average 900 times a year for ship traffic, each with an average delay of seven minutes. 1 By 2007, that number had dropped to 266 openings. Even still, its ramp configurations were treacherous as it featured a three-leg northbound exit to Summit and Huron Street. The Huron ramp was closed shortly after because of a rash of serious accidents. 8 Other ramps included poor sight distances and little to no merge lanes.
The Craig Memorial Bridge was closed to all traffic in 2007 for its reconstruction into a local roadway as part of the Veterans Glass City Skyway project. 2 Work included the creation of a bike path separate from automobiles, the installation of fiberglass decking instead of a steel grid for the bike path, the removal of the original Interstate 280 ramps and the filling in of the Interstate 280 trench through North Toledo with 815,000 cubic yards of soil 20 feet deep. The drawbridge was reopened to traffic on December 15, 2009, although work remained to convert the remainder of what used to be Interstate 280 and its network of ramps into public parks. The total project cost was $21.3 million.
- State: Ohio
- Route: OH Route 65
- Type: Double-Leaf Bascule Drawbridge
- Status: Active - Automobile
- Weber, Laren. “Beneath the beams, abutments, and concrete, Toledo’s Maumee crossings have a story to tell.” Toledo Blade 17 June 2007: n.p. Web. 6 Sept. 2013.
- Patch, David. “Toledo’s Craig Memorial Bridge set to reopen to traffic after long closure.” Toledo Blade 14 Dec. 2009: n.p. Web. 6 Sept. 2013.
- Harvey, Hank. “Life in the Fast Lane Surrounds Toledo.” Toledo Blade 3 Apr. 2013: n.p. Web. 6 Sept. 2013.
- “Official Highway Map.” Ohio Department of Highways 1955. Web. 6 Sept. 2013. Map.
- “Official Highway Map.” Ohio Department of Highways 1957. Web. 6 Sept. 2013. Map.
- “Official Highway Map.” Ohio Department of Highways 1959. Web. 6 Sept. 2013. Map.
- “Interstate 280.” Kurumi n.d. Web. 6 Sept. 2013. Article.
- Patch, David. “Public participation played an important role in the Skyway’s conception, design, development.” Toledo Blade 17 June 2007: n.p. Web. 6 Sept. 2013.