It's a bridge that thousands of Clevelanders travel on a daily basis—chances are you've been on it recently— but have you ever gone under the Veteran's Memorial Bridge where streetcars used to take commuters to and from their destinations in the early to mid-twentieth century?
The Cuyahoga County Department of Public Works announced its annual Veteran's Memorial Bridge and Subway Station Tour will take place on June 22 as part city-wide events honoring the 50th anniversary of the infamous Cuyahoga River burning.
New this year is an event that will feature a special immersive, color-changing light exhibition designed by internationally renowned Squidsoup, a group of artists and designers based in the UK as part of Cleveland's Foundation's Creative Fusion.
Once the largest double-deck concrete bridge at the time of completion in 1918, the Veteran's Memorial Bridge continues to stand front and center among Cleveland's architectural wonders. Streetcars, tunnels and the four original tracks still stand as they were in 1917 when it opened to the public on Christmas Day. The subway contained six stations, four restrooms and pedestrian tunnels—serving as a major hub for commuter transportation until the discontinuation of streetcar service on January 24, 1954.
The bridge was also listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.
This free self-guided tour gives curious Clevelanders a chance to step back in time when the original streetcar station was a part of everyday life. Visitors will also get views of Lake Erie, the Flats and downtown Cleveland that are only available once a year from the bridge.
The tour is on Saturday, June 22 from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Food trucks will be on site and there will be plenty of family-friendly activities on site.
What you should know before your visit:
- There is no parking available at the site due to construction in Ohio City. Limited street parking is available.
- The drop-off zone is 2433 Superior Viaduct in Cleveland.
- Handicap parking—2433 Superior Viaduct.
- Additional parking is available at Nautica Entertainment Complex Park— 2200 Elm St. Parking is cash only.
- Visitors must complete a release form prior to entering the bridge. Print and complete them to save time. Forms can be downloaded here .
- Bring comfortable walking shoes and a flashlight
- UH Bikes are allowing riders to use the bikes to get to the bridge and lock them up without incurring out-of-hub fees.