|John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge|
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All photos by Patrick S. O'Donnell. Please do not reuse without permission. Patrick writes:
Visited: Tuesday, November 9, 2010 during the '1,000th Suspension Bridge Trip' - a 25 hour door back to door, 1,100+ mile, 12 suspension bridge day trip that included my 1,000th suspension bridge visit. Bridges ranged in geographic area from Cincinnati Ohio / Covington, Kentucky, over into southeastern Indiana, and central Ohio / Columbus.
My visit on Tuesday, November 9, 2010 was just five days after the reopening of the bridge following a 7-month closure of the bridge for a $16.3 million paint job. The bridge had been closed for a couple of other extended periods in the several years prior to this paint job for structural rehabilitation. Now this bridge was as pristine as any 143 year old bridge possibly could be.
I really had no idea this would be my 1,000th bridge visit until just 72 hours before visiting. I did think all along that whatever the 1,000th, it had to be at least somewhat special. Since the previous 999 where all in the US and Canada I figure I should stay here in North America. This left me with only about 450 suspension, cable-stayed, and swinging bridges that I'm aware of on my North American 'To See' list to choose from. Bridge 999 had been the last bridge visited during a three day, 15 bridge trip up into Quebec, Canada in very early July, 2010. At that point I had no idea it would even be this year that I would get to visit #1,000. I never even got around to going through my 'To See' list to see what remained and could possibly end up being the milestone #1,000. Then on November 6, I caught an article of the John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge reopening the previous day following the paint job. I didn't even have to go through my 'To See' list to see if I had yet to visit this one, I knew and knew it would make a great 1,000th bridge visit. It now was just a matter of getting a good weather day. The designer and builder John A. Roebling and eventually the name change to honor him was reason enough to make this #1,000. Other factors were the age - being one of the oldest suspension bridges still in existence, and the mainspan length making it among the 1,000 footers - 1,057 feet to be exact, a record holder for mainspan length for a couple years. The stone towers have a 'cornerstone' reading "1865" immediately above each arch's keystone. This is 100 years before my birth year when they were completed, a full nine years since they commenced. Weather, extreme river flow, mechanical difficulties, lack of funds, John Roebling’s wife dying, and the Civil War making it a long nine years. Another tid-bit is on June 27, 1983 when the name of the bridge was officially changed from the Covington-Cincinnati Suspension Bridge to the John A. Roebling Bridge, I was at the start of the Ohio River 470 miles upstream at Point State Park in Pittsburgh during the 5th day of a 1,200 mile bicycle trip from New Jersey to central Wisconsin. The very next morning I was crossing over the Ohio River on my bicycle into Ohio on the Newell Suspension Bridge. While the Newell Bridge is the eastern most Ohio / Ohio River suspension bridge, the John A. Roebling is the western most crossing the Ohio River at Ohio, 426 river miles downstream.
So with no fanfare I made my 1,000th suspension bridge visit. I didn't even get dressed up for it. Good thing too, they were still touching up the bridge in places and I purposely leaned up against what they had just painted to get some on my shirt as a souvenir.