As my buddy, Seymour from Leroy, wrote me last week, “It’s not every day when a bridge goes floating past your porch.”

The story of the reconstruction of the Columbus Road Lift Bridge has been nothing short of remarkable.  Here at my perch in Duck Island, I’ve had a birds-eye view of this $32 million project immediately below us — where Columbus Road crosses the Cuyahoga River.

As Alison Grant of The Plain Dealer has writtenin her terrific coverage, “American Bridge Co. crews have worked on the span — the lift part of the Columbus Road bridge — at a site just west of the Carter Road Bridge in the Flats since mid-2013.

“The finished product (was) shipped down the river to the towers it will be connected to.  The bridge is the fifth rendition of a permanent crossing over the Cuyahoga at Columbus Road. The first, horse-and-buggy, version was built in 1836.

“The fourth Columbus Road bridge, built in 1940, was closed last year and its span torn out and scrapped, after inspections determined it was in serious condition.  Some floor beams and gusset plates were rated critical, meaning they were no longer functioning as designed. Lifting components were rated poor.”

The 2.2 million-pound bridge was moved onto its barge Monday last (July 28th) at a rate of 15 feet per 40 minutes.  The next morning, it was shipped about 0.5-mile downriver to its two restored towers.  By Friday, it was hoisted up in the air about 70 feet — and the ship channel was reopened to riverborne traffic.

For a civil engineer, this was a real treat!

Rollin down a river…

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