John A. Roebling suspension bridge that spans the Ohio River between Covington and Cincinnati was the world's longest suspension bridge when it was opened in 1866, and since architect Roebling himself when on to design a similar structure now known as the Brooklyn Bridge, this bridge deserves considerable recognition as a historical structure. Prior to this bridge, French engineers had first devised cable suspension bridges over French Rivers to allow the unimpeded flow of river barge traffic below. However, the Ohio River is wider than any river in France, so the construction of this 1,057 foot span bridge was at the time a major engineering feat. The bridge was central to both Covington and Cincinnati public transit, each side had street car terminals with ramps leading to the bridge. The bridge was privately owned and operated until 1953 when the Commonwealth of Kentucky purchased the bridge. Around that time, streetcar operations ceased using the bridge (and generally ceased operations on both sides of the river), and by 2007 the state decided to reduce weight limits to 11 tons due to an analysis by the University of Kentucky. Thus, today the bridge is primarily a light vehicle and pedestrian bridge providing access from hotels on the Kentucky side of the river to Cincinnati's downtown and sport stadiums on the Ohio side. In 2010, the bridge was repainted its characteristic blue color, and so at the time of my visit looked very good considering the vintage age of its steel members.
When the 1,057-foot-long Cincinnati and Covington Suspension Bridge opened to traffic on December 1, 1866, it was the longest suspension bridge in the world. It was completed not long after the close of the Civil War, connecting Cincinnati with Covington, Ohio with Kentucky, and the North with the South.
The designer and builder of the bridge, John A. Roebling, used the Cincinnati bridge as his prototype when he later built the longer and more famous Brooklyn Bridge, which opened in 1883 in New York City. The Cincinnati and Covington Bridge was renamed for its designer in 1984.
Several newer and more modern bridges now span the Ohio River in and around Cincinnati, and the Roebling Bridge carries much less traffic than the others. That's good, because I consider a walk across the old Suspension Bridge a must to fully experience Cincinnati. A wide walkway goes along either side of the bridge and on a recent Saturday I walked across on one side and back on the other. There were a few folk who had put their lawn chairs up near the center of the walkway and were enjoying an afternoon in the sun while they watched the river traffic below.
When I saw the movie Kate & Leopold I said "hey, there's the Roebling bridge". Okay, so it was A Roebling Bridge not THE Roebling Bridge.
This is John Roebling's precursor to the Brooklyn Bridge. Ours was built in 1866 while the Brooklyn Bridge in NYC was built in 1883 and until the latter was completed Cincinnati held the longest bridge in the world! Locals refer to it as the "Suspension Bridge" or the "Blue Bridge" for obvious reasons.
This bridge is yet another reason why film companies like to film movies in Cincinnati. This bridge, our PNC Bank building & the Carew Tower are all buildings that have similar counterparts in NYC & our majestic skyline is certainly a fine substitue for theirs!
Movies filmed in Cincinnati set in NYC:
Gloria starring Sharon Stone & George C. Scott
A Rage in Harlem starring Forest Whitaker & Gregory Hines
The Public Eye starring Joe Pesci
Lost in Yonkers starring Richard Dreyfuss
But one of our proudest films is Rain Man, starring Dustin Hoffman & Tom Cruise, which garnered Best Actor in a Leading Role for Hoffman (his 2nd Oscar), Best Director for Barry Levinson, Best Picture for Mark Johnson, & Best Writing/Original Screenplay for Ronald Bass & Barry Morrow! It was also nominated for Best Art Direction/Set Direction, Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing, and Best Music/Original Score.
Photos: January, August & September 2005
This bridge spans the Ohio River, linking Cincinnati with Covington, Kentucky. Opened in 1866, it was designed by the same architect who designed the more famous Brooklyn Bridge (which opened in 1883). When built, its main span, at 1057 feet, was the longest in the world.
This bridge is named for its designer, John A. Roebling. It was built because of the growing population of not only Cincinnati, but Newport & Covington, Kentucky, as well. Ferry traffic accross the Ohio River became a huge problem so, city charters were changed to accomodate this bridge. At 1,057 feet, this span was the longest in the world at the time. Constuction took over a decade because financial woes and the Civil War had the city under constant threat of attack.
The Bridge is named after John Roebling who designed it. At one time this was the largest suspension bridge in the world.
It is now the 70th longest bridge in the world. It was completed in 1866. It's span is 1057 feet long over the Ohio River.
I also noticed that it looks alot like the Chain Bridge over the Danube in Budapest, built only 15 years earlier.
This was his "practice bridge", he went from here to build the more famous Brooklyn Bridge.
Spanning the Ohio River to connect Cincinnati and Covington, Kentucky, the 1876 Roebling Suspension Bridge is John Roebling's prototype of the world famous Brooklyn Bridge. The best view of the bridge is actually from the Covington side.