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History Reborn

For more than half of a century, the Lincoln Way viaduct—now also known as the Four Chaplains Memorial Bridge—has spanned a secret world of the river, rails, and a road relinquished to ruts and crumble.

The arches of the previous stone bridge traversed the Tuscarawas barely rising above it. Passengers waited for Baltimore and Ohio trains at the depot on the north side of Lincoln Way or Wheeling and Lake Erie trains on the south side. Tracks crossed the road on both sides of the bridge rather than streaming together beneath.

The million-dollar Lincoln Way viaduct opened on Armistice Day of 1949, part of the city’s massive flood control and railroad safety project. Its higher level dwarfed the stations beneath; the last passengers stepped onto a coach within a few years.

The land below the viaduct lay fallow for decades until 2003, when the Connector Trail curved conveniently through the area to allow bicyclists easy access between the Sippo Valley and Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trails.

The Bridjazz party will—for one intriguing evening—enliven the mysterious “underworld” with dining among the Art Deco abutments and dancing on the depot foundation.