Streetcar Deck of the Detroit-Superior Bridge
Abandoned since the 1950s, the streetcar lane beneath the heavily trafficked bridge lays empty and unused.
The Detroit-Superior Bridge in downtown Cleveland is one of the city’s most iconic and oldest bridges. Completed in 1917, this bridge was the first that allowed for continuous road and river traffic across the Cuyahoga River. It became the main route connecting the east and west sides of the city, aided by the streetcar deck that ran below the upper level of the bridge.
A subway station at West 25th Street and Detroit Avenue served streetcar passengers who would ride across the river to Public Square. But streetcar service ended in the 1950s, and the lower deck of the bridge was never repurposed.
Today, the lower deck is empty, other than equipment that lights the bridge at night, some telephone and electrical cables, and graffiti. There are hints of the bridge’s past: A small cement building on the western end which used to be the subway entrance bears old entrance signs. A door across the street still says “Subway” in decorative glass. Astute visitors will find the remains of old tracks at the end of the bridge.
For a few years, the lower deck hosted Cleveland’s Ingenuity Fest, which used the space for cultural events. The Cuyahoga County Engineer’s office occasionally opens the streetcar deck for self-guided tours, but most of the time, the abandoned deck sits empty and unused.
Know Before You Go
There is currently no public access to the lower deck. Occasionally, the Cuyahoga County Engineer will announce dates for self-guided public tours. The upper deck offers a bike lane and fantastic city views, and the above-ground elements on West 25th Street and Detroit Avenue are easily accessible.
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