Apr. 2006

This thing's kinda beezweezerly, but somewhat interesting nonetheless. The highway you see here is the 6th Street freeway eastbound. We're on what amounts to a short, flat ramp from Mehring Way to the freeway - but it's gated shut. I'm guessing this was probably once open as a ramp for motorists to access the freeway. If so, it's easy to see why it's closed now: It's too short and perpendicular for modern freeway standards. However, one wonders how one may access the eastbound freeway from Mehring now. (The US 50 marker in part 1 is for west only.) I'm assuming that's a pier for a now-defunct rail overpass behind the freeway.

Finally, the high point of this outing. We're looking south at Mill Creek from the...SECRET BRIDGE!!!

It's one thing to surmise that the secret bridge may exist. It's even better to read about it or see it on a map. It's better still to see the bridge in person. But to actually be on the bridge is a thrill that can't even be described! Believe it or not I actually saw a young man and woman who did not appear to be working at any nearby industry walking around in the area. It reminded me of the old "Lowered Expectations" skits on Mad TV. Also I noticed a man driving a bizarre vehicle that looked like a cross between a forklift and street sweeper, and I thought for sure he'd chase me out of the area, but he ignored me.

In any event, I'm quite sure the public is not allowed on this bridge. I didn't see any signs stating this, but the manner in which Mehring Way angles and narrows as it passes an old warehouse-type building indicates that there's a big, gray Allowed Cloud in effect.

In the photo above you can see how dilapidated the railing of the secret bridge is. In the foreground you see the legs of the Waldvogel Viaduct. Behind that you see a low-lying rail bridge. Just behind that is where Mill Creek empties into the Ohio River.

Looking north from the secret bridge. We're practically on the weathered rail track that shares the bridge. You also see another rail bridge. The building behind the trees is the flood barrier.

Now we're facing south again to show you the surface of the secret bridge. As with the Gest Street bridge, it's hard to tell you're even on a bridge if you're just casually traveling there. Once again, the Ludlow rail bridge shows up in the background.

Still on the secret bridge, facing east. The road makes a gap in the floodwall.

Welp, we've safely crossed the secret bridge - so now we know that's physically feasible. We're standing on the secret bridge approach, looking east at the approach of the rail bridge that's just north of the secret bridge. The Waldvogel Viaduct is overhead.

The secret bridge winds up here: an old railyard south of River Road. This leaves one question still open: Does the narrow road that runs off Evans under the north side of the Waldvogel Viaduct connect with this? I still suspect that it does, but it just couldn't be seen clearly. The thrill of being in a forbidden zone in a Stalinist dictatorship made me jittery, and I couldn't stick around long enough to investigate. But at least this leaves some mystery and allure of the bridge intact in case I ever visit it again!

The Cincinnati approach of the rail span that accompanies the Clay Wade Bailey. Nifty how I can zoom in like that, huh?

This curious scene is along Mehring Way approaching Great American Ball Park. Not many years earlier a railroad ran right here. In fact I think it was still visible when I did work assignments here in 2002. The bridge you see is the Taylor-Southgate.

I literally burst out laughing when I saw this! This is on Mehring Way. That semi with the "Sesame Street Live" ad on it was parked in the road behind the Coliseum. Big Bird, Cookie Monster, and the rest of the Sesame Street kick-butt crew festively gazing at us only makes the Hitler mustache someone painted on Ernie more noticeable.

Finally, we're smack-dab under the Taylor-Southgate Bridge, while the river is flooded (again). This is an interesting view of the underside of the bridge.

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