Tuesday, March 4, 2014

With Snow and Ice, Cincinnati echoes Brooklyn.



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With the freezing rain and snow coming through this past Sunday, the John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge connecting the cities of Cincinnati, OH and Covington, KY was closed due to ice accumulating on its surface. The lack of traffic allowed the rare opportunity to walk right down the middle of the road and see a unique perspective of the Queen City icon as it echoed the views of its Brooklyn brother.



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The suspension bridge is a visual and auditory icon on both the Ohio and Kentucky sides - normally the ominous hum of cars flying through the bright blue supports and over the metal deck creates a buzzing sound echoing across state borders and into the urban cores.

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The past two days though, the bridge has been quiet. Barricades cordon off unplowed streets and vehicle access. The pedestrian walkways on both sides remained open, caked in snow and footprints of those who made the chilly walk over the mighty Ohio River. On the bridge's porous grating, only ice remains. After a week of moderate temperatures that seemed to signal the end to a brutal midwetern winter, the inclement precipitation returned and the bridge's icy surface forced its closure early Sunday morning.

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The iconic Cincinnati river crossing shares a similar look with its younger, but larger brother in Brooklyn, New York. While created in the same image of their architect father, John Augustus Roebling, their pedestrian access is dissimilar. In Brooklyn, pedestrians can walk right down the center, taking in a symmetric view of the steel cables that hold the bridge from atop the stone towers - while in Cincinnati, you're restricted to the sides. That is, unless, the bridge is closed to vehicular traffic and you're willing to walk on the icy, metal surface.

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I've photographed this bridge for years, from the very top to the bottom, but today was the first day I stood in the complete center of its beauty, a completely new perspective echoing the views of Brooklyn.

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New York's Brooklyn Bridge:
- Photograph by Mark Wilson on Flickr.


Cincinnati's Roebling Bridge:

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The Roebling has since reopened to vehicular access.

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