The Abandoned Columbus, Ohio Freeway

This abandoned freeway looks out right into Downtown Columbus.

If you have ever driven through Columbus, OH – or even if you drive through the city on a regular, taking I-70 into downtown, chances are you had not noticed the rusted, cracked remains of this former road, looming over the freeway as you passed beneath it. Now, when I say “noticed,” I mean truly noticing the fact that it is an abandoned and unused stretch of freeway, not just another dirty industrial stamp in our gridded  civilizational framework. This is actually more or less one of those grimy failures resulting from what we like to call progression of the human race – at least that’s how I like to see it. When we get tired of something, we’re often too distracted to clean up after ourselves.


Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy roads, and other conveniences brought by our progression. Sure, I hate what we are doing to nature in many aspects, but I’ll be completely honest – I could not live without many of the conveniences of modern civilization. This still does not mean that I should just not care about the wastefulness, and carelessness of much of our society. We could be so much more efficient with our creations and resources than we are, and it sucks.


Since it would require the closure of I-70 to demolish it, the bridge has been left untouched for years – some say since right around the time Miranova was constructed. If this is the case, then the bridge has now sat unused for 16 + years. There have recently however been plans for its demolition in the works.



Many would like to see it turned into a pedestrian bridge, considering its direct connection to a local park. Throw a fence up, open it up! Wouldn’t that be a whole lot easier than hiring officers and park rangers to watch it? What do you think should happen with the bridge? What would you like to see most for its future?

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12 thoughts on “The Abandoned Columbus, Ohio Freeway

  1. I’m originally from Cincinnati, oh and love on West coast now. In Cincinnati they turned a bridge over the Ohio River into a pedestrian bridge, it’s called the purple people bridge. I think that would be a great idea for Columbus to do as well!!


  2. I’m in Detroit, and we’re making use of these opportunities to re-use rail lines and defunct road to create cycling and pedestrian corridors. The Dequindre Cut is the most famous one. If the bridge is structurally sound for the weight of cyclists and pedestrians, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the community to reclaim space. Sprinkle it with some gardens and outdoor sculpture. The Lower Scioto Greenway is right there, so easy to tie in an elevated view for people using it.


  3. There’s already a cycle path. But unfortunately the abandoned freeway is main street for the abandoned homes people camping/dumping there.


  4. I’ve been there plenty of times the past three years. And it wouldn’t be difficult to connect the path from the Scioto Mile to the paths of Scioto Audobon.

    I’ve been told the bridge has been abandoned for over 20 years.


  5. No history on the subject of the article here, I would have liked to know more background on what the road was called, what it connected, why was it built and why it’s not used any longer. It looks like it connects to where there is a building and a rail line, or was it a freeway on/off ramp that was no longer functional once the main artery was rebuilt. Were these factors for why it’s not used now?


  6. sad story. but this is a very long road, how would pedestrian used it to walk upon if it is very far from one end to the end of the next. If there was residential villages across it would do justice for pedestrians using them. Well the Americans knows it better than I do! Good Luck to them with things over there!


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