Dresden Suspension Bridge

Dresden Suspension Bridge

The Dresden Suspension Bridge formerly carried OH Route 208 over the Muskingum River in Dresden, Ohio. The crossing was first Ohio’s first wire suspension bridge.


History

A wire cable suspension bridge, complete with four stone towers, was the first fixed crossing of the Muskingum River at Dresden when it was finished in 1853. 2 Designed by George Copeland, it was built by a stock company of local investors headed by George W. Cass at the cost of $28,000.  A major flood in 1913 washed away the crossing. 1 2

Shortly after, county engineer Ralph Strait began preliminary surveys for a replacement bridge, settling upon a truss bridge type 4 despite the signatures of over 1,000 names that favored another suspension design type. 5 Those truss plans were rejected by the Board of Engineers of the War Department, who said that the crossing should have an additional six feet of vertical clearance and that the horizontal clearance be increased to 630 feet.

An eyebar suspension bridge was completed in December 1914 4 by the Bellefontaine Bridge and Steel Company of Bellefontaine, Ohio at the cost of $125,000. 1 2 Designed by Clyde T. Morris, 3 the crossing was similar in design to the infamous Silver Bridge that collapsed in the 1960s, albeit much smaller in scale. 3

The narrow Dresden Suspension Bridge was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978. It was bypassed in 1988 and converted into a pedestrian-only crossing.


Gallery


Information

  • State: Ohio
  • Route: OH Route 208
  • Type: Wire Suspension
  • Status: Abandoned / Closed
  • Total Length: 705 feet
  • Main Span Length: 443 feet

Sources

  1. “Historic Register Listing Sought.” Times Recorder [Zanesville] 2 Apr. 1977: 9A. Print.
  2. Schneider, Norris F. “Cass Township Created in Controversy Over Bond Issue.” Times Recorder [Zanesville] 8 Aug. 1948: D4. Print.
  3. Bridge plaque.
  4. “Dresden Bridge Under Construction – In 1914.” Times Recorder [Zanesville] 27 Dec. 1940: 14. Print.
  5. “Bridge Plans Rejected.” Cincinnati Enquirer 13 Dec. 1913: 3. Print.

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