Eine Ohio Bridge

A concrete bridge that connects Eine and Nederename over the Schelde river built by the state of Ohio in memory of the 37th Division crossing in WWI.  The bridge features four bison sculptures and bronze plaques commemorating the 1918 river crossing of the U.S. 37th Division.


The first bridge was built in 1881 with iron given by the province of East Flanders and the city of Eine.  The iron bridge was destroyed in 1914 by the Belgian army to prevent the advance of German troops.  A temporary wooden bridge built by the Germans in October 1918 was destroyed by the Germans to prevent Allied advance in the Scheldt Offensive.  Through much trouble and difficulty, a bridge was built and the 37th Division finally crossed, but not without many deaths.  Many of the soldiers of the 37th Division A.E.F. were from Ohio. 


In memory of the 37th Division, the state of Ohio built a monumental bridge to express their gratitude to their many fallen sons.  Its construction started in September of 1928, led by architects Frank Ray Walker and Henry F. Weeks of Cleveland, Ohio, and Laholle Levard of Paris, France.  The bridge was inaugurated on Thursday, September 26, 1929 without bison, which were first placed in 1930, designed and sculpted by Paul Moreau-Vauthier, as a symbol for courage and strength.  Bizon were placed on both shores, in attack position facing each other.


At the beginning of WWII, on May 11, 1940, the bridge was destroyed by the English and a new temporary wooden bridge was built by the Germans in October 1940.


In 1952, reconstruction of the 2nd Ohio Bridge began and it was in use by November 1954.  The new bison were sculpted by Jos de Decker and still stand on the bridge today.  On June 25, 1982, the new bridge was completed.  It renders a more modern construction without the decorations as was before.  The four bison still stand at the four corners of the bridge, two of which displaying the American Flag, the other two displaying text.  However the bizon were wrongly placed, not facing each other.