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CINCINNATI'S SECRET BRIDGE AREA
Apr. 2006
PART 1

No longer satisfied with my jaunt 2 years earlier to Cincinnati's secret bridge that may have once carried 6th Street over Mill Creek, I revisited this forgotten structure and the surrounding area for more answers. I was also itchin' for some new perspectives of the 8th Street Viaduct. I wasn't disappointed with this outing, as it yielded so many interesting photos that I had to split them into 2 parts.




I dig viaducts, man. They're kinda swell. Here we're at 8th & McLean, looking west onto the 8th Street Viaduct. A rail viaduct crosses over the approach to the 8th Street Viaduct, in case you're in a viaducty mood. Eighth Street splits here: To the right of the column in the middle, where you see the nose of a blue truck, the road just leads to some industries; to the left of the column, where the red car is going, 8th ascends slightly and forms the viaduct.




I'm not so sure if this even qualifies as a viaduct, though it has been referred to as the Gest Street Viaduct. This low-lying bridge over Mill Creek is generally forgotten, though I used to enjoy using it at work. I took this photo of the Gest Street span from the 8th Street Viaduct.




Looking west at the western approach of the 8th Street Viaduct in Lower Price Hill. About a year earlier, a historic building along this stretch was reportedly destroyed by fire, though I'm not sure exactly where that was. The windows of the building in the foreground were boarded or smashed when I took this pic, so I had to assume the building and those around it were on the endangered list. In the background, 8th continues west and becomes Glenway Avenue as it angles to the right. The high rise on the hill behind that is near the east end of another part of 8th that does not connect to this part of 8th.




Overlooking Evans Street from the 8th Street Viaduct. That red semi is just parked there with nobody in it. We're looking towards the Waldvogel Viaduct.




This rusted sign - assuming anyone notices it at all - greets folks going south on McLean at the east approach of the 8th Street Viaduct. It says Cleves is 15 miles from here if you use the viaduct. The sign adorns one of the columns that supports the rail viaduct that crosses over this approach. The rail overpasses here bore construction dates of the early 1930s, and that's probably when this sign was posted, since it uses that old squarish font.




Standing on Dalton Avenue, looking east at the Freeman Avenue overpass. Freeman itself is approaching the 6th Street freeway (US 50). That train was moving when I took this photo.




In the industrial ruins (ha ha, RUINS!) of Queensgate there's this weird little rail bridge that often pops into view. It goes over Mehring Way near 5th & Freeman, and it has this odd, somewhat lopsided framework. I believe that here we're looking west into that bridge. With nothing but a few piles of dirt there now, I figured this would be the only chance to get this view before this block is redeveloped. I'm assuming the area in the foreground with the dirt piles is around 3rd & Baymiller. That part of 3rd that I photographed in 2004 was now almost totally demolished, and Baymiller had also declined considerably in the intervening 2 years. The red spot to the left of the strange rail bridge is some type of signal, and the bridge running horizontally in the background is the Ludlow rail bridge. That high rise in Price Hill reappears in the background.




This is that isolated part of 5th Street that runs east off Mehring & Freeman and hits a dead end. This street had also declined considerably since 2004, even as they've cut down the weeds. The dead end is at a guardrail that appears as a very thin line in this pic. Apparently it wasn't many years earlier that 5th continued past this end and passed over a rail line. With Carew Tower straight ahead you can see how this stretch of 5th lined up with the part of 5th downtown.




Carr Street, running north off Mehring and looking at the floodwall. I'm not a civil engineer (because that opportunity was robbed from me), so I don't know exactly how the floodwall works. There must be a way to close the opening in the floodwall when it floods - otherwise the wall would be pretty much useless - but I don't see how.

Or maybe not.




Looking west on Mehring Way as a rail viaduct runs above it in the same path. The road goes through the floodwall here. I don't remember this ever being US 50, so the sign must refer to the 6th Street freeway, not Mehring itself.




The sidewalk along Mehring continues through this doorway-like gap in the floodwall. On the left the rail viaduct still runs over Mehring. This is about where the styrene odor that looms through the air disappears in favor of a more poo-like stench.

The real highlight of this outing was the secret bridge itself, which I cover in part 2. Scroll down to 2006 on the Road Photos menu, and click on part 2 of this event! Better yet just click here.

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