Sunday, June 5, 2016

Walking the Roebling Bridge

 Five dollar parking fees in downtown Cincinnati - more common than not - were the impetus for Tom and I to park on the Covington, Kentucky side of the Ohio River (for free) and walk north across the John A Roebling Suspension Bridge.

 It was something we both wanted to do anyway, to see the bridge up close and personal and watch the Ohio River, far underfoot, flow languidly west.

 The above view is from the Kentucky side of the bridge facing Cincinnati to the north. Upkeep of the bridge appears good - at least from this vantage point. The iron girders and suspension cables are all painted a blue-gray without any sign of rust or deterioration.

 That's The Great American Ballpark on the right side of this frame.

 South of the bridge is a marina of sorts where sightseeing paddlewheelers gather.

 This one - the River Queen - was approaching us from the west so we stood in one spot while it passed about 100 feet beneath us. The bridge offers a minimum of 100' clearance for boats of this sort.

 The river was slow-flowing and the boat, too. For sight-seeing, the laid-back speed is an advantage.

 This is the spot where the bridge's suspension cables nearly reach the deck. Can you imagine building this monstrosity in the mid-1800's? The first pedestrians to cross the bridge made the trip on December 1, 1866, a century and a half before Tom and I. That anniversary arrives in just six months.

 As we neared the Cincinnati end of the bridge we saw a fisherman down below enjoying the cloudy, warm afternoon. Tom said, "Even if I caught a fish there, I wouldn't eat it!". Especially on the south side of the river, billows of brown sediment cloud the water.

 Here's a close-up of one of the towers.

 Cincinnati's waterfront is highlighted by Smale Park (also Riverfront Park and perhaps others).

 This water feature is part of Riverfront Park.

 And now, from the Cincinnati side, looking towards Covington. The main span of the bridge is 1057 feet (a fifth of a mile). When the bridge was built (1856-1867), this was the longest suspension bridge in the world. More details can be found in the Wikipedia entry by clicking here.

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