Scenic USA - Ohio

John A. Roebling Bridge

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John A. Roebling Bridge - Covington, Kentucky and Cincinati, Ohio

Photo by Amanda Haddox
Amanda Haddox Photography
Inset photo by John Mueller

     Nineteenth century construction was a perfect blend of American ingenuity, muscle from steam powered equipment and a highly dedicated workforce of laborers. Conceived by master bridge builder John A. Roebling, the plan of a suspension bridge across the Ohio River, from Cincinnati to Covington, began to take shape in 1856. Setting the foundation for two mammoth support towers below the river surface proved quite challenging and time consuming. Months of labor on the limestone support towers stretched into years, slowed by financial instability, the Civil War and lack of manpower. These stone towers, resting on a base of oak timbers, were the heart of the bridge. Proving to be overbuilt, future generations were able to expand bridge loads several times.
     Installing the bridge suspension cables, manufactured in Manchester, England, also proved to be another heroic task. View of the Roebling Bridge It took 10,360 wires to support the bridge, each one carried across the river and finally compressed together and wrapped in two bundles. After the bridge deck was in place in 1866, 166,000 people walked over the bridge in the first two days.
     Designated as a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark, the mid 19th century John A. Roebling Bridge is still in use today. Now one of five area bridges, the beautiful Roebling Bridge still carries traffic from Kentucky to Ohio's revitalized Cincinnati downtown. Found at the foot of the Roebling Bridge, recent years have seen the addition of two new sport stadiums, the National Underground Freedom Center, and the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame.

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