The authors hope that this, the only in-depth study of the bridges in the area, will fill a gap in the history of Cleveland and will serve as a base for future studies. The only other book written on the subject (now out of print) entitled Bridges of Cleveland and Cuyahoga County, was prepared to commemorate the opening of the Detroit-Superior Viaduct in 1918.
The fact that the authors of the present work view it as a collection of all sorts of information concerning the significant bridges and bridge-engineering in the Cleveland area accounts for some stylistic inconsistencies. Descriptions are sometimes technical and detailed, sometimes sociological and historical, and sometimes humorous, chatty, even legendary. In short, there is something for everyone-for the engineer, for the local historian, for the sociologist, and, last but not least, we hope, for the general reader who has a bit of curiosity.
This has been a labor of love, not only for the authors but for those who assist them. It had had special meaning for the co-authors Sara Ruth Watson, and for her helper sister, Emily, because for them it is a tribute to their father, the late Wilbur J. Watson, eminent bridge-engineer, to whom this volume is dedicated. We thank Dr. Clarence H.C. James, former chairman of the Department of Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics of the Cleveland State University, who, with two of his student assistants, John Sullivan and Thomas Palko, did an Inventory of Noteworthy Engineering and Industrial Works in Cuyahoga County, Ohio for the Historic American Engineering Record of the National Park Service. We also thank Mr. Ralph Robison, Principal Engineer for Howard, Needles, Tammen and Bergendoff, who helped compile the report of the Inner Belt Freeway Viaduct, and the late Ralph E. Scott, of the Osborn Engineering Company, who graciously aided the authors in obtaining information about various structures designed by this, the oldest extant engineering firm in Cleveland. We are especially grateful to Professor Frank J. Gallo of Cleveland State University; he has devoted much of his valuable time, energy and thought to seeing that this project saw the light of day. And we thank the CSU Womens Association for its generous gift which furnished the financial impetus which led to the fulfillment of this project. Last but not least, we thank Emily Watson and Mrs. John (Marjorie) Wolfs for their clerical assistance and helpful criticisms.
Cleveland, Ohio Sara Ruth Watson
1981 John R. Wolfs