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The All-America Bridge in Akron, Ohio is a viaduct carrying Ohio State Route 261 over the Little Cuyahoga River that splits into a one-way pair. Constructed 1981–1982,[1][2] the bridge was named in recognition of Akron's past All-America City Awards[1] and is also locally known as the Y-Bridge.[3] The bridge is 134 feet tall in its highest location.[1]

All-America Bridge
Coordinates41°05′41″N 81°30′46″W / 41.094637°N 81.512737°W / 41.094637; -81.512737Coordinates: 41°05′41″N 81°30′46″W / 41.094637°N 81.512737°W / 41.094637; -81.512737
Carries4 lanes of SR 261 and 1 sidewalk
CrossesLittle Cuyahoga River
LocaleAkron, Ohio
Official nameAll-America Bridge
Other name(s)Y-Bridge
Preceded byNorth Hill Viaduct
Construction start1981
Construction end1982

The bridge's predecessor, the 1922 North Hill Viaduct, was closed in 1977 after a long history of chunks of concrete falling from the bridge.[4] The poem Under the Viaduct, 1932 from the Pulitzer Prize winning book of poems Thomas and Beulah by Rita Dove, referenced the North Hill Viaduct.

Over its existence, the North Hill Viaduct had been the site of at least one suicide a year, though police records were not complete. At least two survived jumps in the 1930s.[5] The replacement bridge has also been a magnet for suicides. From 1997 until December 3, 2009, 29 people committed suicide by jumping from the bridge.[3][6]

In 2009, it was announced that $1 million to $1.5 million would be spent to fence the bridge using federal economic stimulus funds.[7] Fencing the bridge was controversial in Akron and the plan had previously failed to receive local support.[8][9] Previous local attempts to fence the bridge failed in 1991, 1993, 2000 and 2006.[10][11] The project was expected to be completed by September 2010[2] but was stopped for the winter of 2010-2011.[12] The project was finally completed in late December 2011 at a total cost of around $8.7 million.[13] In spite of the presence of the fence, another suicide occurred on June 28, 2012.[14]


  1. ^ a b c "Bridge Basics". Akron Beacon Journal. December 6, 2009. Retrieved April 5, 2010.
  2. ^ a b Farkas, Karen (August 25, 2009). "Valley View I-480 bridge barrier replacement put off for two years". The Plain Dealer. Cleveland. Retrieved August 27, 2009.
  3. ^ a b Price, Mark J. (December 6, 2009). "'Suicide Bridge' Spans Lives". Akron Beacon Journal. Retrieved April 5, 2010.
  4. ^ Price, Mark J. (September 27, 2015). "Local history: Save the arch! Viaduct's last-standing section gained public support in 1978". Akron Beacon Journal. Retrieved September 28, 2015.
  5. ^ Grollmus, Denise (June 8, 2005). "Suicide Bridge". Cleveland Scene. Archived from the original on April 8, 2007. Retrieved August 31, 2009.
  6. ^ "'Suicide Bridge'". Akron Beacon Journal. December 6, 2009. Retrieved April 5, 2010.
  7. ^ Cooper, Michael (May 5, 2009). "Soul-Searching in Akron, Ohio, Over Stimulus Use". The New York Times. Retrieved August 31, 2009.
  8. ^ Warsmith, Stephanie; Armon, Rick; Downing, Bob (March 27, 2009). "Y-Bridge Will Be Fenced". Akron Beacon Journal. Retrieved August 31, 2009.
  9. ^ Kist, Stephanie (June 5, 2008). "West Akron couple urge Council to fence Y-Bridge". West Side Leader. Retrieved August 31, 2009.
  10. ^ Massey, Delano R. (May 31, 2006). "City May Fence In Bridge". Akron Beacon Journal. Retrieved August 31, 2009.
  11. ^ Quinn, Jim (June 22, 1993). "Funds Are Sought For Fences Along Y-Bridge". Akron Beacon Journal. Retrieved August 31, 2009.
  12. ^ Warsmith, Stephanie (November 24, 2010). "Y-bridge to remain fully open until spring". Akron Beacon Journal. Retrieved February 5, 2011.
  13. ^ Warsmith, Stephanie (January 8, 2012). "Y-Bridge project more costly, takes longer than expected; officials pleased with result". Akron Beacon Journal. Retrieved January 8, 2012.
  14. ^ "Man Commits Suicide off All-America Bridge". Akron Beacon Journal. June 29, 2012. Retrieved June 30, 2012.

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