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New York Central Railroad Bridge

Carter Road Bridge and New York Central Railroad Bridge

The New York Central Railroad Bridge is an abandoned vertical lift span adjacent to the Carter Road Bridge over the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland, Ohio.

The Cleveland, Cincinnati & Cleveland Railroad was one of the first railroads to enter Cleveland circa September 1849, 2 which required the construction of a wooden bridge over the Cuyahoga River in the vicinity of Canal and Vineyard Streets (today’s Canal and Lockwood Drive). 3 In early November 1856, work began to convert the fixed bridge into a draw bridge to allow the passage of larger ships along the Cuyahoga River 5 6 and to prevent ice from damaging the main span. 4

In May 1868, the CC&C merged with the Bellefontaine Railway to form the Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati & Indianapolis Railway (CCC&I), which merged with lines in Indiana and Illinois to form the Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago & St. Louis Railway (Big Four) in 1889.

In 1902, the c. 1856 drawbridge was replaced with a¬†Scherzer Rolling Lift bridge that provided a clear channel opening of 110 feet. 1 The Big Four’s successor, the New York Central, replaced it in 1953 with a vertical lift crossing that provided a clear channel of 200 feet and a vertical clearance for ships of 260 feet. 1 Designed by Howard, Needles, Tammen & Bergendoff, and erected by McDowell Wellman of Cleveland, it received the American Institute of Steel Construction Award of Merit for the most beautiful bridge in its class.

The Cuyahoga River bridge was discontinued in the late 1980s when tracks leading to the crossing were removed.


  • State: Ohio
  • Route: New York Central Railroad
  • Type: Vertical Lift, Warren Through Truss
  • Status: Abandoned / Closed
  • Total Length: 217 feet
  • Main Span Length: 200 feet
  • Spans:


  1. Watson, Sara Ruth and John R. Wolfs. Bridges of Metropolitan Cleveland, 1981.
  2. “The N. Y. Tribune of Saturday.” Milwaukee Sentinel and Gazette, 24 Jul. 1849, p. 2.
  3. “A Ride on the Rails.” Plain Dealer [Cleveland], 3 Nov. 1849, p. 2.
  4. “City Items.” Cleveland Leader, 1 Feb. 1856, p. 1
  5. “Railroad Bridges Over Cuyahoga River.” Cleveland Leader, 10 Nov. 1856, p. 1.
  6. “Commenced.” Cleveland Leader, 15 Nov. 1856, p. 3.

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