Broad Street bridges connected two sides across Scioto


This covered version of the Broad Street bridge was built over the Scioto River in 1832. It replaced the first bridge to span the Scioto at that location, an uncovered, wood-plank structure that was opened in 1816.

The Scioto River and its neighbor, the Olentangy, which join near Downtown Columbus, have been at various times fickle and fragile, and at other times firm and forbearing. 

Native Americans have been living at the forks of the Scioto and Olentangy rivers for hundreds of years. The prehistoric mound builder people constructed large earthen mounds for ceremony and cemetery as well as defense. The historic native Wyandot, Shawnee and Delaware people lived here after the mound builders. 

None of them built bridges. Bridges would come later – considerably later. 

Today we take our river crossings for granted. Traveling either by foot or conveyance, it is easy to traverse the Scioto from Downtown to the nearby Franklinton neighborhood using one of many bridges. 

When pioneer/surveyor Lucas Sullivant arrived at the forks of the Scioto in 1797, he liked what he saw. Sullivant was one of a handful of strong and self-reliant men contracted to survey a large land grant between the Miami and Scioto rivers called the Virginia Military District. 

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