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D&M - Kawkawlin River Bridge

Street View 


Deck plate girder swing over Kawkawlin River on Detroit & Mackinac Railway
Bay County, Michigan
Intact but closed to all traffic
Built 1896
- Detroit Bridge & Iron Works of Detroit, Michigan
- Detroit & Mackinac Railway (DM)
Deck plate girder swing
Length of largest span: 40.0 ft.
Approximate latitude, longitude
+43.65411, -83.94390   (decimal degrees)
43°39'15" N, 83°56'38" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
17/262603/4837668 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Inventory number
BH 69799 (Bridgehunter.com ID)


19th Century (9,060)
Bay County, Michigan (20)
Built 1896 (295)
Built during 1890s (3,279)
Closed (2,764)
Deck girder (6,398)
Detroit & Mackinac Railway (3)
Detroit Bridge & Iron Works (76)
Girder (11,346)
Have street view (29,892)
Michigan (1,428)
Movable (3,156)
Owned by railroad (13,727)
Plate girder (8,875)
Railroad (16,665)
Span length 25-50 feet (16,354)
Swing (1,591)
Through girder (4,270)

Update Log 

  • December 9, 2019: New Street View added by Mike Kerkau
  • October 24, 2015: New Street View added by Douglas Butler


  • Douglas Butler
  • Mike Kerkau - mjkerkau [at] gmail [dot] com


D&M - Kawkawlin River Bridge
Posted December 24, 2021, by Naisaga (randomerest1spam [at] gmail [dot] com)

Hard to say. I guess it depends on both the design of the bridge and how much the location had changed. I am by no means an expert, just a novice at this kind of thing. I am however, interested in learning more about it.

D&M - Kawkawlin River Bridge
Posted December 22, 2021, by Mike Kerkau (mjkerkau [at] gmail [dot] com)

Yeah. It's the same bridge Charles was referring to last month.

Ostensibly, it would be this? http://www.michiganrailroads.com/stations-locations/73-bay-c...

Historic Aerials last shows it being there in 1982 - by 1998, it's gone.

Someone else may want to look at the aerials there - does that look like a drawbridge?

D&M - Kawkawlin River Bridge
Posted December 22, 2021, by Naisaga (randomerest1spam [at] gmail [dot] com)

Farther upstream near the mouth of the bay there are 3 concrete pillars crossing the river next to the bridge on State Park Drive. I've been looking into my hometown of saginaw more, trying to figure out where all the old train tracks used to be (since I can't find a map of it from the 90's), and using similar methods I believe there used to be a train bridge here. I don't know if this a bridge that slipped the site's radar or if it's something else. I also don't know if this is the best place to state such a thing, but I figured no harm would be done in leaving a comment.

D&M - Kawkawlin River Bridge
Posted November 27, 2021, by CHARLES W RIBBLE (cwr01 [at] charter [dot] net)

You are correct Mike. The D&M bridge is to the east. I screwed up.

D&M - Kawkawlin River Bridge
Posted November 26, 2021, by Mike Kerkau (mjkerkau [at] gmail [dot] com)

RE: Old Kawkawlin Bridge - so presumably a vehicle struck it and mangled it to where they demolished it rather than attempt to fix.

RE: The original D&M bridge - that'd be to the east, not the north, and you mean what can be seen from here, yes? https://www.google.com/maps/@43.6519378,-83.8976047,3a,75y,7...

D&M - Kawkawlin River Bridge
Posted November 26, 2021, by CHARLES W RIBBLE (cwr01 [at] charter [dot] net)

The D&M deck plate girder bridge shown was originally Michigan Central Railroad. The Old Kawawlin Road Bridge was just a few yards to the North as Mike said. I understand that the bridge was damaged in a traffic accident in the 1950s and demolished the next day. One more thing, the original D&M bridge was a mile or two to the north. It was removed in the early 1980s and the abutments are still there. It is visible from the State Park Drive bridge.

D&M - Kawkawlin River Bridge
Posted December 9, 2019, by Mike Kerkau (mjkerkau [at] gmail [dot] com)

Incidentally - notes on other bridges nearby:

The bridge that serves M-13 is a prime candidate for an Ugly Bridge listing - even among UCEBs, it sticks out like a sore thumb for its asymmetry. (Who thought that was a good idea?)

A friend of mine who lives nearby mentioned to me that there used to be another bridge here - this one would have ostensibly connected what is now Old Kawkawlin Road across the river (nowadays, the south segment of that road runs west to M-13, you have to turn on 13 and go across the Ugly Bridge, then turn east to get to the north segment). She wasn't able to tell me anything about it, though, only that apparently there used to be one there.

D&M - Kawkawlin River Bridge
Posted December 9, 2019, by Mike Kerkau (mjkerkau [at] gmail [dot] com)

I'd be curious to know when exactly this was closed to railroad traffic.

Charles Hyde's 1976 inventory of historic engineering and industrial sites in Michigan's Lower Peninsula - available free on Google Books! - states the following for this:

"This bridge consists of four spans, each 40 feet long, resting on concrete piers and abutments. The northernmost and southernmost spans are deck girders, while the two middle spans are through-plate girders."

It wouldn't be a stretch for through-girders, if they had been there, to have since been removed, thus the sparse railings that are now there.

The inventory also cites the Detroit Bridge & Iron Works as the builder.