May 29 2008

The Peace Bike and the Action Cam took yet another jaunt to the Mill Creek valley - this time covering (among other things) the Western Hills and Hopple Street viaducts, which had received too little attention from me. Although people knock that part of town for an allegedly high crime rate, this outing didn't scare me one bit, as far as crime was concerned.

North on Gest Street (which was once Mill Street here), going under the rail overpass at 3rd. Peep the Hudepohl brewery smokestack at left.

Usually this is only a PG-rated page, but the Action Cam couldn't resist getting a photo of this graffiti! This is on the steps from Gest up to the 6th Street freeway.

From a sidewalk on the 6th Street freeway, this is north on Gest. The ramp on the right goes to 7th. Gest here is roughly where Cutter Street was, but the whole area was rebuilt around the 1960s.

Near Union Terminal, this is south on I-75 from the Ezzard Charles Drive overpass. The ramp is exit 1F to Gest & Freeman. This stretch of I-75 probably dates from the early 1960s.

Not a bad road here! This is north on Winchell Avenue - which is that one-way frontage road with a bike lane along northbound I-75.

Here we're going north on Spring Grove Avenue under the Western Hills Viaduct, completed in 1932. Though a city surface street, Spring Grove is signed as ALT I-75. The overpass in the background is the ramp from I-75 south to the viaduct.

Looking east under the viaduct from Spring Grove Avenue. I don't know where the staircase goes or why it's closed.

I-75 appears to run along the top of the hill here.

The Western Hills Viaduct is a double-decker. This is looking west from Spring Grove onto the lower deck of the viaduct.

Looking straight up at the underside of the viaduct. Someone had used blue spraypaint to outline all the spots where the concrete had chipped away and exposed the metal bars therein. A few of these spots were accompanied by a spraypainted date from 2006.

West on the Hopple Street Viaduct (which isn't quite as elaborate as the Western Hills span). This viaduct was first built in 1916, but the bridge's current surface was built in the 1980s on the original piers.

From the Hopple Street Viaduct, this is north on Spring Grove.

I like this view from the viaduct! This is looking north in the rail yard, on a minor road that serves the facility.

East (downhill) on a very steep Sutter Avenue. This is dangerously close to where I smashed my head on a signpost back in 2006.

Go to the bottom of Queen City Avenue and look north. You'll see this path, with an old rail line just to the left.

This ramp runs south off the bottom of Queen City and to the bank of Mill Creek. The great bridge spanning the stream is the Western Hills Viaduct. Queen City used to cross Mill Creek and run all the way to Colerain Avenue.

Still at the bottom of Queen City, this appears to be some sort of pipe surrounded by a metal casing over Mill Creek.

This runs northwest off State Avenue to the Western Hills Viaduct. The median features what was once a streetcar ramp that descended to the viaduct's lower deck. Streetcar service ended in the 1950s, and now the ramp is part of the traffic department's storage yard.

Looking down at the old streetcar ramp.

I tried to get better photos of the storage yard, but they didn't turn out. The yard is full of old traffic devices, including that US 42 sign.

This is going east onto the lower deck of the Western Hills Viaduct.

From the viaduct, this is south on State Avenue! State Avenue was once a state route - OH 4W - until about 1980.

Don't try this at home, kids. This is east on the lower deck of the Western Hills Viaduct, and the narrow slab of concrete that I'm standing on is all you get for a sidewalk. It's nearly impassable without a car. Until 1999, the center lane of this deck was a variable direction lane, with overhead green arrows and red X's.

Looking west towards the end of the 'duct.

A good ways on the viaduct, looking west. The green sign on the left advertises Harrison Avenue. The one on the right leads you, the bespectacled traveler, to Beekman Street and Queen City Avenue.

This photo set ends going east on the Western Hills Viaduct. This level of the span ends at Spring Grove, but the ramp to I-75 on the right is the point where the viaduct gets extremely dangerous for users of what passes for a sidewalk. So don't do it, OK, Ernie? The ramp on the left is from I-75 south.

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