By: Angela Vanderbilt
Brighton Bridge, which spans Central Parkway connecting Colerain Avenue with McMicken Avenue, was built during the construction of Section Four of the subway. The last portion of subway to be constructed in the former Miami-Erie Canal bed, Section Four extended from Mohawk Street to Brighton’s Corner, and included an underground station at Brighton.
Construction on Section Four commenced in 1921 by the Fred R. Jones Contractors. The existing iron and stone bridge, as well as the wooden footbridge, were dismantled in order to complete construction of the underground subway station at Brighton’s Corner. During construction, a temporary track and footbridge were erected to allow access across the site. A new bridge was to be constructed over the Parkway at the same location.
In addition to the bridge being dismantled, several houses and buildings were also razed as part of the construction, including the Brighton Hotel, seen immediately below. The Brighton Bank building, however, was left unscathed and remains today at the Colerain approach to the bridge.
During construction of the Brighton Station and portion of tunnel between Mohawk Place and Brighton’s Corner, houses and other structures, such as the Bellvue Brewery, along McMicken on the eastern bank of the canal were damaged from the blasting and heavy equipment which was being used to construct the station and tunnels that were to run through this section and beneath the bridge. Portions of the buildings had to be stabilized, and foundations reinforced.
Once the construction of the station and tunnels leading into and exiting the station were completed, a new bridge was built to reconnect Colerain and McMicken Avenues. This bridge would be replaced in 1928, but until that time, the bridge constructed by Fred R. Jones Contractors transported Cincinnatians from the West End to points east, including Clifton.