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The Bridges of Jefferson County

The biggest thing to happen to Louisville’s and Southern Indiana’s traffic scene lately is the building and opening of two new Bridges, the Abraham Lincoln Bridge downtown on I-65 and the Lewis and Clark Bridge on I-264.

The bridges are exciting to us, but they certainly aren’t the first. I searched the University of Louisville’s photo archives and found some old pictures of Ohio River bridges.


Did you know that during the construction of the Big Four Bridge there was a collapse that caused 50 men to fall into the icy Ohio in December of 1893? Even worse, 40 of them died. The Big Four was originally a railroad bridge, but was recently made into a fantastic pedestrian bridge. I’ll have more on that soon and will add a link.

Enjoy the photos below!

Looking toward Louisville at the Big Four Railroad Bridge the day after two large spans collapsed during construction. Fifty men were dropped into the icy Ohio River on Dec. 15, 1893, 40 of them died. Howard, James E., 1875-1956 (photographer) Glass negative.

End view of the construction of the Fourteenth Street Bridge designed by Albert Fink. Several men stand and sit on the unfinished bridge. This truss drawbridge was built by the Louisville Bridge and Iron Company and spans the Ohio River, between Louisville, Kentucky and Clarksville, Indiana. Started in 1867, the first train crossed the bridge in February 1870. The Fourteenth Street Bridge was previously called the Panhandle Bridge. Klauber, Edward (photographer)

View from waterfront of railroad bridge or trestle crossing the Ohio River. The bridge is the Panhandle Bridge, built around 1870, and operated by the Pennsylvania Railroad. The bridge linked Clarksville to Louisville, spanning the Ohio River and Portland Canal. The current bridge in this location is the Fourteenth Street Bridge.

A crowd of people fill the Municipal Bridge during its opening in October 1929. The bridge was later renamed the George Rogers Clark Memorial Bridge. People stand shoulder to shoulder as far as can be seen under the girders of the bridge. Similarly, at the opening of the Lincoln Bridge last year, people were allowed to walk on it.
Caufield & Shook (photographer)

Two men in suits and hats shake hands as a crowd watches at the opening ceremony for the Municipal Bridge in October 1929. The bridge was renamed the George Rogers Clark Memorial Bridge in 1949. Several men and a little girl are on the stand as is a microphone for WHAS radio.
Caufield & Shook (photographer)

Toll booths on Louisville Municipal Bridge (now George Rogers Clark Memorial Bridge), which spans the Ohio River and connects Louisville to Indiana. Vehicles enter and exit, and toll workers stand beside the booths. Handwritten on back of print: “Bridges – Municipal – Toll Booths.”

An officer stands in doorway of a toll booth, with a man in car and another officer on a motorcycle on Louisville Municipal Bridge (now George Rogers Clark Memorial Bridge). Handwritten on back of print: “Bridges – Officer at Municipal Bridge’s Toll Booth.”

A crowd of people lines the sidewalk in Jeffersonville during the opening of the Municipal Bridge. A police officer stands in the middle of the street at the beginning of the bridge. Beyond him are three booths with signs telling people to “Pay Toll.” A water tower is visible beyond that which says “a.c.f. Jeffersonville, Ind.” A smokestack advertises “Octagon Soap.”

  2017  /  Photos, Transportation  /  Last Updated July 4, 2017 by  / 
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