From high up above the Flats, looking east, you wouldn’t even notice the huge industrial area down below since the passage of the Clean Air Act and the clearing of old factories and other polluters.
But head down the streets into the valley, and the dense cluster of bridges, curving river and other buildings soon reveals itself.
The boats don’t come up and around Irish Bend much anymore. I think it’s probably pretty obvious how the area got its name.
I don’t think I’ve seen so many vertical lift bridges in such a small area.
There is still some actual light industry, but the old dirty kind is gone.
At its height, it must have been something to see.
We have to take a look at the massive Detroit Avenue Bridge, now known as the Veterans’ Bridge, which is the main artery connecting west Cleveland to downtown and the east. It is huge.
The beauty of the central span, and just how critical it is to the history of bridge building is perhaps obscured by its neighboring concrete bridge components and other buildings. To see what it looked like while under construction and to see it in a more pure form read this article.
As you can see, it features a lower deck for streetcars.
And back to a bascule bridge.