See also: Michigan Street Vertical Lift bridge

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Ohio Street Vertical Lift Bridge
By Dennis Galucki and Chuck LaChiusa
Center for the Study of Art, Architecture, History and Nature


Ohio Street Bridge

This bridge was completed in 1962 and is "tower driven." The machinery to move the cables attached to the counterweights is located at the top of towers at either end, shrouded in a metal covering.

The first bridge: The first public Ohio St. Bridge was built in 1866 and was, like its downstream cousins, a swing bridge. The bridge swung about a turntable on a pier built in the middle of the stream.

The second bridge: With vessels getting wider and riverfront property getting more valuable, the city of Buffalo was forced to replace the old swing bridge to keep up with economic forces. In 1904 the city built the world's first bascule of the Brown design (bascule, French for seesaw, meaning a bridge so balanced that when one end is lowered, the other is raised).

The present bridge: After almost 60 years of use, the Brown bascule was replaced by the current vertical lift span. The vertical lift bridge offers significant advantages over bascules, the major one being cost.The counterweights merely have to equal the weight of the span, whereas bascule counterweights generally weigh two to three times the weight of the roadway to be lifted. Further, since the floor of the span always remains horizontal, any kind of pavement can be used (the Ohio St. Bridge's is steel deck). Lastly, should the grade level of the approaching roadways be changed, it is a relatively simple matter to adjust the draw to fit the new grades, without having to move any machinery or the towers themselves.

- Text source: Buffalo's Waterfront: A Guidebook, by Tim Tielman
Ohio Street Bridge






Ohio Street Bridge over the Buffalo River

Ohio Street Bridge



Ohio Street Bridge



Ohio Street Bridge



Ohio Street Bridge



Ohio Street Bridge



Ohio Street Bridge




Photos and their arrangement 2004 Chuck LaChiusa
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