Bridge Builders Biography Chapter II: 1913 Flood
By the 1880s, iron truss bridges were being built along the Olentangy and Scioto Rivers. These structures, despite their load bearing strength, were prone to high water damage that reached a crisis point with the historic Flood of 1913.
From March 23rd through the 27th, heavy rains and melting snow caused the rivers to rise 22 feet above flood stage. The deluge killed 96 county residents, left more than 20,000 homeless, and destroyed the bridges at Broad Street, State Street, and Town Street.
One of the crossings to survive the flood was a new earth-filled concrete arch bridge being built over the Olentangy River at King Avenue (shown here). The survival of the reinforced concrete brought about dramatic changes in bridge engineering that lead to the eventual building of “flood proof” bridges throughout Franklin County.
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