Before the bridge opened to traffic in , commuters going to and from the West Side had to traverse the nearby Superior Viaduct, which featured a section across the Cuyahoga River that would rise several times a day to accommodate boats. The Detroit-Superior Bridge forms an arch over the Cuyahoga River that rises high enough to allow even the tallest boats to pass through unimpeded, meaning they don't delay motorists. It stretches 3, feet and features two decks, an upper deck for cars and pedestrians and a lower deck that was once home to a subway. The streetcar operations on the subway were discontinued in , leaving the lower deck empty. The lower level has since been used for galas and festivals. The sidewalks were narrowed in to make way for two additional lanes of traffic in an attempt to relieve congestion.