Bridge:  Toledo Terminal Upper Maumee River Swing Bridge

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Toledo Terminal - Upper Maumee River Bridge
City or Area: Maumee, Ohio
River: Maumee
Type: Swing
Year Built: Built in 1902.  Possibly first used in September, 1903.  [GLF]
Last Year Used: May, 1982.  A derailment on the bridge damaged the structure.  [GLF]
Length: 1,450 feet.
Built By:
Other Information: The bridge is still in place, however the tracks were removed some time ago.  Each fixed span of the bridge is made up of 6 truss panels measuring 25 feet each, for a fixed span length of 150 feet.  There are a total of 8 such spans, thus a total fixed span length of 1,200 feet.  The swing span is 250 feet long.  The last train to use the bridge was probably around 1980.  The roadway parallel to the bridge is the Ohio Turnpike.  Information and photo from Gary Franks.  Additional Comments.

The Toledo Terminal Railroad swing bridge over the Maumee River (the "upper" bridge.   [Gary Franks]

Below, a steam powered freight train traverses the upper Maumee River Toledo Terminal Bridge during the winter of 1904, about a year after the bridge was constructed.  [Gary Franks collection]

A Norfolk & Western coal train heads east across the upper Maumee River bridge near Toledo in 1978.  [Doug Leffler]

  • Additional Comments From Gary Franks:

    "The swing span on the bridge, if used at all, may have opened only a few times in its earliest days. When this area was settled (ca. 1816 - 1836), the towns of Maumee and Perrysburg, about 3-4 miles above this bridge, were the centers of commercial riverboat traffic in the area. However, a rock bar in the river about 2 miles below this bridge only allowed boats with 6'  or less of draft to pass upriver. As higher draft boats came into being, the port of Toledo (downriver about 10 miles) became the center of commercial navigation.

    "The Toledo Terminal Railroad was formed in the early 20th century (1903) when commercial navigation upriver to Maumee and Perrysburg was declining; however, there still must have been some traffic of low-draft boats as this bridge was built to open with a center swing span. The clearance of the center swing span above normal water levels is about 30 - 35 feet............I was able to sail my Hobie Cat 16 with a mast height of 28 feet above water under it with no problem about 15 years ago. The bridge immediately above the Toledo Terminal bridge is an Ohio Turnpike bridge.

    "The other bridges on my
    website are about 4 miles upstream of the TTRR and Ohio Turnpike bridges. At this location in the river (Foot of the Rapids), the river is not navigable to commercial traffic. In the 1925 picture, the rail bridge on the right of the auto bridge was constructed ca. 1854 (carrier unknown, but I'm currently researching it) and was also used later as an interurban light rail bridge until 1927(note dual gauge tracks in the picture). The bridge to the left of the auto bridge was the Toledo, Bowling Green & Southern Interurban railway's bridge constructed ca. 1905 / demolished ca. 1930."

    Gary L. Franks, PE is a local civil engineer with an interest in Maumee River Bridges.

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Dale J. Berry, all rights reserved.