Charles Berry Bridge
It is our responsibility at the Charles Berry Bridge to provide safe passage to all commercial and recreational vessels, to monitor vehicular and pedestrian traffic on the Bridge, and report accidents or problems to the proper authorities. It is also necessary to work closely with the Coast Guard, Corps of Engineers, Ohio Department of Transportation (O.D.O.T.), the City of Lorain, and other agencies to maintain and operate the Bridge in a safe and efficient manner.
For Information on Bridge openings, pictures and Lorain river traffic, check Boatnerd.com.
A Brief History
The Erie Avenue Bridge was built in the late 1930s and opened for traffic in the fall of 1940. At the time of its construction, it was the largest Bascule Bridge in the world. It remained unchanged until major bridge rehabilitation was completed in 1988.
During the construction period, the bridge's deck, lift motors, drive system, consoles, boilers, and lighting systems were all replaced. In addition, a fire and security system, including TV cameras and monitors, and an auxiliary generator were added. The Bridge was also repainted at this time. On Veterans Day in 1988, the bridge was renamed the Charles Berry Bridge in Honor of Charles Berry, a Marine from Lorain who lost his life in the battle of Iwo Jima, and was awarded The Congressional Medal of Honor.
On July 1, 1989, O.D.O.T. took over the funding of the Bridge. This saves the County approximately $550,000 per year from the General Fund. The Charles Berry Bridge is one of the 3 bridges in the state that O.D.O.T. funds.
In 1998 the submarine cables that used to carry power and control cables to the East side were removed, and new fiber optics for control were installed in its place. The Main Power Supply for the East Tower is now fed from the East side power source. A programmable logic control (PLC) was installed to replace the mechanical relays in both towers. An auxiliary generator was also added to the East side. Also at this time, there was a new maintenance building built for the bridge. In 1999 the bridge was completely repainted. Repainting is done approximately every 10 years. All of this work was done at no cost to the County.
With the additions that have been made and proper maintenance to the bridge, there is no reason why the bridge would not last well into the 21st Century.
The Charles Berry Bridge is operational 24 hours, 7 days a week. We can be reached 24 hours a day on marine channel 16 or by phone at 440-244-2137. Bridge Hours apply to pleasure craft only, not commercial traffic. The Bridge opening times are as follows:
- Monday through Friday
7 am to 6 pm
The Bridge will open on the hour and half hour; however, due to rush hour traffic, the bridge will not open at 8 am, 3 pm, 4 pm, and 5 pm.
- Saturday, Sunday and Legal Holidays
11 am to 6 pm
The Bridge will open on the hour and half hour