Henderson Bridge NOT Being Replaced

On March 19th, the following comment was left on this post:

 Odot is threatening to tear down this bridge and replace it in 2016. I hope people in Lorain that appreciate this bridge will join me and the other historic bridge advocates to try to stop this.

I sent the commenter an email, asking for his source of this information. He provided me with this link which listed the following write-up:

Lofton Henderson Memorial Bridge (Lorain County, Ohio)
The bridge: A cantilevered through truss, this 1939 bridge carries four lanes of traffic high above the Black River Ship Channel.
The significance: An iconic part of Lorain, Ohio, this bridge is National Register eligible and recognized as “Select” on the Ohio Historic Bridge List.
The situation: Despite having a relatively good sufficiency rating (58.7), officials want to get rid of this bridge. The Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency website says that the bridge is programmed for replacement starting in 2016.
The plan: As a “Select” bridge that is still in reasonably good condition, the government needs to do a better job of exploring alternatives to replacement. If the current bridge is too narrow — the usual excuse for demolition — then why not consider building a parallel bridge?

Remembering the fiasco from 2008, I was concerned. The Bascule needed repaired, and it was closed for three months? was it? This was to be a replacement and that was going to hurt a lot of folks. I emailed Allen Biehl, the District Deputy Director of ODOT’s District 3 and asked him to confirm or deny the above information. He replied with this email:


I was able to gather more detailed information regarding an upcoming project on the above noted bridge. As I expected, the bridge is not being replaced. The project scheduled and shown in NOACA’s Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP) is to perform various maintenance repairs on the existing structure. The description on NOACA’s website is in error; and we are in the process of working with NOACA to have this description corrected on their webpage. I was somewhat suspicious, in that a total bridge replacement would have cost much more than the $3+ million dollars shown on NOACA’s document.

We have no plans to replace this structure in the foreseeable future; and this upcoming maintenance project will insure the bridges longevity. Attached, please find a preliminary Scope of Work that we anticipate on completing with the upcoming project. It is fairly self-explanatory; however, should you have any further questions regarding this project please feel free to contact me to discuss further.

Thank you for taking interest in the Department of Transportation’s infrastructure. We appreciate your reaching out to us for more information.



Here’s the info from the document he attached:

PID 92009 LOR 611-0344 Repair and Maintenance Recommendations

Caulk bottom corners of lower cord and top corners of lower cord at gusset plates

Replace modular exp.jt. at the forward abutment including the related work which includes replacing the end the deck, top of the abutment back wall, approach slab, sidewalk and guardrail.
Substructure repairs to concrete substructure units.

Spot paint select floor beam to truss connections and floor beam lower chords.

Repair R/W fence
Retaining wall replacement along the west side of the forward approach.

Slip Repair along the west side of the forward approach. (All work including sidewalk, guardrail, seeding and mulching.)

Pavement to restore areas disturbed by project
Wearing Surface repairs

Repair Hatches Replace the missing handles and hinge pins on the access hatches in the west sidewalk.

Sheathing repairs Reattach and/or replace loose and missing neoprene sheathing. The sheathing provides protection for the floor beams under the open joints.

Repair sidewalk pedestrian railing.

Seal deck and sidewalk concrete

So, no need for stress or hand-wringing or anything.

At least, we hope.


Freighter Algoway

I was downtown last Thursday, leaving the library when I noticed that the Bascule was raised. And when I say raised, it was all the way up. So, I zipped down to the north side of the bridge, to see what was going on. The Fire Department was down there checking the hydrants?, as the Algoway was making its way under the bridge.

Lorain’s Love of Freighters

Two Friday’s ago, I went to the 2nd Street Project to give my little contribution. Crossing 2nd to the Park, I noticed the Bascule Bridge was in its upright position. Thinking it was probably a sailboat, I went about my business. When I finished, I noticed a storm blowing in, and thought the Lighthouse would look good with the dark storm as a backdrop. Heading back to my truck, I thought it odd that the Bascule was still up.

I drove down the hill to Hot Waters, and saw the lineup of boats waiting to come out of the water ahead of the approaching bad weather. I also noticed a large freighter on the Black River, the reason the CJB bridge was up for so long. I hit the gas and drove around to get some pics.

At first I thought I was in an episode of Storm Chasers, because as I went down the dirt road, there were two pickups, two cars and a minivan ahead of me. Silhouetted in the light, I could see that every one of the drivers was holding a camera up, shooting through an open passenger’s side window.  Passing them all, I slid to a stop at the end of the pier, and jumped out of truck, sprinting to the edge.

As the Alcoway slowly headed into Lake Erie, there was still many boats making there way back in off of the Lake.

For a brief moment, it looked like a race between David and Goliath.


As her bow passed the Lighthouse, her props started churning the water.

The Alcoway passed the Lighthouse, and turned eastward to her next destination. It wasn’t long before she was swallowed up by the storm. Meanwhile, two sailboats had taken down their sails as they approached the Black River.

As I watched her go, I caught a raindrop square in the eye. I turned west to check out the clouds.

As the freighter disappeared into the rain, I thought it was time I did, too.

As I alluded to earlier, I’m far from being the only shutterbug in Lorain interested in freighters. Please check out Paul Csizmadia, Paul R. Csizmadia, and Matt44053.

A Year Ago Today…

I officially dedicated myself full-time to this blog. I had said my goodbye’s and left the nest.

It’s been fun. It has. It’s been more work, of course, but I don’t have to worry about work I’d spent quite a bit of time on, getting buried under another’s post an hour after I published. And there are times I had to dig deep and scrape just to get new material here to keep from losing everyone’s interest.

There are things that I planned on doing here that just didn’t happen. There are things I hadn’t planned on doing that I did, and I’m quite happy I made the time.

More buildings got knocked down before they fell on folks, and balloons lifted up in Wellington last year. First time, I believe, in the County. I had done this in August of 2007 and sent it to the County Commissioners. I posted this less than a year later. Coinky-dink? Maybe.

I kept up on my commitment to cover our Armed Forces last year.

I covered quite a bit of sports, but that was mostly an affair of the heart, rather than work.

I continued to spotlight Metroparks events. That was more love than labor, too.

I can honestly say, that even though it’s been more work going solo, it’s work that I love.

I’m making an effort to do more ‘County’ things, rather than ‘City of Lorain’ things. I was warmly welcomed by Avon Mayor Jim Smith for this article, and will do follow-ups as Opening Day approaches.

I think the busiest time, and the most news-worthy item around the area was the Bascule Bridge debacle.

So, a year has passed, and I’m a year older, wiser, and a bit more experienced. Whether that’s good or bad, only time will tell.

Thanks for your time, and your visits, and your input.

Time to get back to work.

Lovin’ it every step of the way.

Mary’s Sweet Shop

I drove home the other day by way of Rt 6 so that I could go over the recently opened Bascule Bridge. As I passed the closed Dairy Queen, I felt bad for the business owners whose sales and income suffered over the summer, due to the lack of traffic. Wondering if there was anything I could possibly do, I passed this building:

I usually don’t have time to do much in the kitchen before the holidays except make my spiced-up version of Chex Mix for the family, and bake a cheesecake for Christmas. This year, I’ve got some vacation left to burn, and will have some time before the 24th. The kids are off early, too, and when I saw my wife’s schedule, I thought, ‘Why don’t we make some candy?’

So, Kristen and I stopped in the day before Thanksgiving and looked around. Though I only bought an 8# bag of chocolate, I could have gone absolutely CRAZY buying flavorings and candies and decorations and molds and all the different things that are sold there.

Walls of candy molds –

that you can make candy cups with, and chocolate-covered pretzels and cookies and filled chocolates.

Cake molds –

of favorite cartoon characters….

There’s candy and baking flavorings –


and jellies and creams and sprinkles and candy sprinkle-shapes.

There’s candy decorations for cakes –


and sign-toppers for cakes –

and wedding cake decorations…

Did I mention that they have chocolate??

White chocolate, dark chocolate, regular chocolate, colored chocolate, FLAVORED chocolate!  

Hey, check THESE out!!

Are those GREAT or what??

So, stop by Mary’s Sweet Shop at 215 East Erie Avenue, and pick up the fixin’s to make some candies for your family this Christmas.