CUYAHOGA COUNTY, OH – This summer residents and visitors alike can enjoy a weekend of activities to showcase and explore the wealth of possibilities for the underside of the Veterans Memorial Bridge.
On Friday, June 23, the public is invited to participate in a conversation with local leaders and other residents about their vision for creating public access to the underside of the bridge. This community dialogue will be hosted on the underside of the bridge from 5:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m., with dinner available on a first come-first served basis. Feedback and ideas will be used to inform future plans for the bridge.
On Saturday, June 24, the Veterans Memorial Bridge and Subway Tour returns.
This free, self-guided tour allows visitors to experience the original streetcar station and tracks, unique views of the Cuyahoga River, Lake Erie, and downtown Cleveland. Visitors can also explore ideas to reactivate the underside of the bridge for future pedestrian use and can provide feedback on how they believe the space could best serve residents and visitors.
Gates open at 10:00 a.m. and the event ends at 6:00 p.m., with the last admission at 5:30 p.m. Reservations are not required. Food trucks, live entertainment, and educational tables will also be featured during the tour.
The last tour of this architectural gem was held in 2019 and attracted more than 17,000 visitors. The County is honored to welcome visitors from across the country again to share this unique piece of history.
“The Veterans Memorial Bridge has so much historical significance in our community, serving as a major hub for commuter transportation until the discontinuation of streetcar service in 1954. Since then, the underside of the bridge has been primarily open for tours—but we know it has more potential,” said County Executive Chris Ronayne. “The creation of a park in the sky could be a key east-west multimodal connector and public space for residents. This tour allows us to enjoy views from the bridge, share some of our ideas for what’s next and hear directly from residents to inform our future planning. I encourage residents to stop out and enjoy!”
“The streetcar level of the bridge is a hidden treasure,” said Terry Schwarz, Director of Kent State’s Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative. “Over the years, I’ve watched people set foot on the bridge for the first time and immediately be captivated by the space. As Canal Basin Park and Irishtown Bend take shape at either end of the bridge, it’s time to connect the dots.”
The main entrance for both the community conversation and the tour is 2433 Superior Viaduct, at the northeast corner of the West 25th Street and Detroit Avenue intersections. Volunteers will be on-site to assist visitors.
For questions about the weekend’s events, please visit veteransmemorialbridge.org or contact the Department of Public Works at 216-348-3824, Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Additional helpful information:
A valid ID for all visitors over the age of 18 must be presented on-site. Visitors to either event must complete a release form prior to entering the bridge. Complete the release form online to save time and bring it with you for the event. One release form will work for both days of activities.
Please be mindful that there is no parking available at the site. Limited street parking is available but we suggest the following for your visit:
- Drop Off Zone (2433 Superior Viaduct)—The drop off zone will be located outside of the entrance to the bridge tour. No parking or unattended vehicles. Unattended vehicles will be towed.
- Handicapped Parking—Limited handicapped parking is available at the 2433 Superior Viaduct entrance of the bridge.
- Regional Transit Authority (RTA)—For a list of bus/rapid routes and schedules, visit http://www.riderta.com/.
- Bikes—Bike racks will be available for cyclists at both ends of the bridge.
- Carpool—Carpooling is recommended.
- Flats East Bank—Cost associated with parking.
- Nautica Entertainment Complex Parking (2200 Elm St., Cleveland)—Cost associated with parking, cash only.
- Started on June 4, 1912, the bridge was constructed from 2,123,300 cubic yards of concrete and 9,385,000 pounds of steel.
- In 1918, the Veterans Memorial Bridge was celebrated as the world’s largest double-deck, reinforced concrete structure.
- In 1976, the Veterans Memorial Bridge was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
- The bridge is 96 feet tall and 3,112 feet long, connecting Detroit and Superior Avenues over the Cuyahoga River Valley in downtown Cleveland.
- The bridge consists of 12 concrete arches, varying in size from 58 feet to 174 feet, and an overhead steel arch span that is 591 feet long and 196 feet tall.