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Posted January 8, 2019, by Mike Kerkau (mjkerkau [at] gmail [dot] com)

East side riverwalk, south of the bridge. I see that Vets Bridge was built in 1958? So these could possibly have been originally used on the bridge, and then salvaged from it and re-used here.

Painted black to match the railings north of the bridge (which are not R4).

Posted January 8, 2019, by Nathan Holth (webmaster [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

Many county road commissions and cities made use of the R4 Railing standard that was designed by the Michigan State Highway Department. Like today, many local-owned bridges were funded by assistance from the state (some bridges display State Reward Bridge plaques). State Reward Bridges often follow state standard designs even though they are not on the State Trunkline System. Additionally, the designs I believe were free to be used as needed by any county even if they did so under their own funding. I have a special R4 info page here.

Posted January 8, 2019, by Mike Kerkau (mjkerkau [at] gmail [dot] com)

Separately, what's the story on these R4 railings? Were they simply representative of a state bridge design standard for a couple of decades? I also notice that they're often found on, or nearby, highway roads - whether state routes (M-13, M-25, M-46, etc.), U.S. routes, or Interstate routes, possibly even County routes. But were they exclusive to highway routes, or roads that were highway routes at one time but may not be today?

Main reason I ask that last question is, in Saginaw County, there appear to be several bridges still standing today that all have these R4 railings, and the majority of them can be found on roads that do not carry designated highway routes today - assuming none of them have had their railings replaced during this decade, there are FIVE of them that can be found on Hemlock Road alone! (And only one of those five shows the railings covered up with guardrails.)

Posted January 8, 2019, by Mike Kerkau (mjkerkau [at] gmail [dot] com)

This is one of those bridges that has what I've seen are called the "R4" railings. They can be found throughout Michigan, and from what I've been able to find, there's several still up on bridges in Saginaw County alone.

This particular location, however, is especially of interest, since there's THREE other bridges of interest that are all close by this one:

One of the two Verne Road bridges, and the Fry Road bridge (both already posted here), are two.

The third, is just the next bridge on Fergus to the west (over Fairchild Creek) - it's a concrete girder that is exactly like the Mower Road bridge (it might be the only other one remaining in the county of that same type).

Posted December 29, 2018, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

If this was a Wabash Bridge Company span built in 1903 it would have been one of their last before the company was dissolved... A real shame it wasn't preserved!

Posted December 29, 2018, by Mike Kerkau (mjkerkau [at] gmail [dot] com) - has the picture in question I mentioned on the previous bridge's page, though the Road Crossing link has effectively the same view picture and others.

Posted December 29, 2018, by Mike Kerkau (mjkerkau [at] gmail [dot] com)

There is quite a story here...

For starters, the bridge that is here today is not the same bridge that was posted to the National Register. It is a modern truss bridge that has been there since...I'm not 100% certain, but my best guess is since 2009.

That's where the story comes in.

The county Road Commission manager (still the current manager, as it turns out) was seeking replacement of it since 2004, by which point its load limit was down to 3 tons; it would be temporarily propped up to allow a 9 ton maximum.

Still, the property owners in the area...weren't exactly thrilled about losing the bridge. Apparently they were also willing to share in the cost of a bridge project! (And ended up chipping in around $100,000 toward a 750K project.)

I haven't been able to find a full timeline for the deal, but these articles tell the story:

Other notes -

Both Bill Cameron, who owned the oldest cottage on the island, and MDOT, give a build year of 1903. Cameron also said the bridge was trucked to the site in the 1940s, which has to be where 1945 came from in the records. The articles are remarkably inconsistent with its use time, however - the ones that don't quote Cameron also say since the 60s and since 1992!

Also, apparently when replacement was first discussed in 2004, Holy Island was in fact no longer even an island! It had become reconnected by land. As part of the replacement, however, it's now fully an "island" again.

It seems that relocating the bridge to the Calhoun County historic bridge park may have been thought up at one point; the third article makes mention of "shipping it to a bridge park in the southern part of the state, to have it reassembled and preserved as an historic bridge". Evidently that didn't happen - no idea what the county did end up doing with this bridge.

Lastly, there's a picture of the replacement bridge on the county Road Commission's website - the filename includes "2009-06-10" in its name, which suggests the new bridge was there as of (at least) June 10, 2009. That picture, plus the last article's date of October 2008, is where I'm deducing the 2009 replacement from.

Posted December 28, 2018, by Mike Kerkau (mjkerkau [at] gmail [dot] com)'s some more detail about where this one is now:

The article includes several pictures, most of which are for the Mystery Falls Sinkhole that it now spans, but there's a couple that show the bridge itself and one has a Google Maps location.

That said, here's a better Google link:,-83.6092191,17z

(It will be the upper of the two building shapes just below the North Eastern State Trail. Switch to Satellite view and it immediately becomes obvious.)

Other pictures show fencing around it though, and in any case, accessing it will require permission from the current owners (mentioned as "the Kennedy farm" in the article) - though, apparently there have been ongoing efforts to make the sinkhole into a tourist attraction.

The Trail itself is public - it's a 70-mile trail stretching from Alpena to Cheboygan - though I doubt it'd be viewable from there.

Posted December 28, 2018, by Mike Kerkau (mjkerkau [at] gmail [dot] com)

Unfortunately, this too is undergoing replacement...

Posted December 27, 2018, by Mike Kerkau (mjkerkau [at] gmail [dot] com)

Between this and Waltz Road, what in the world has gotten into Wayne County lately?

Posted December 27, 2018, by Mike Kerkau (mjkerkau [at] gmail [dot] com)

Replaced in 2013, or so I've read...

Posted December 27, 2018, by Nathan Holth (webmaster [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

I am assuming its just lighting in the image you guys are looking at. Unless someone set fire to the deck I didn't see anything last time I was there, a year or two ago, that would indicate the deck was about to fall into the river. As I recall a tree falling had dinged the end post a little, but no major changes or concerns were noted during that visit. The road commission removed the builder plaques a few years ago and told me that they are keeping them in storage at the county road commission office.

Posted December 27, 2018, by Nathan Holth (webmaster [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

Michigan is losing 2 standard plan ponies: both Waltz Road and Lilley Road Bridges to demolition, but thanks to MDOT, Cass County Road Commission, and Bach Steel's restoration work, the former M-86 Bridge has been saved.

Posted December 27, 2018, by Nathan Holth (webmaster [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

Mike: I don't have ability to edit these captions, but the documentation dates to August 1988, so the 1998 dates are indeed inaccurate. Most HAER documentations for bridges in Michigan were undertaken as mitigation prior to demolition so the bridge was likely demolished soon after.

Posted December 27, 2018, by Nathan Holth (webmaster [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

Mike: This bridge I believe was closed sometime this year, I am not sure of the exact date. I did confirm with the Branch County Road Commission that it is closed "indefinitely" so we can assume that it is not going to be fixed "in-house" by the county, so its probably either going to be left closed, or perhaps the county will apply for Local Bridge Program funding from MDOT.

Posted December 27, 2018, by Nathan Holth (webmaster [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

Mike... The bridge is still standing and should indeed still be listed on the National Register. Thanks for finding the actual nomination form.

Posted December 27, 2018, by Mike Kerkau (mjkerkau [at] gmail [dot] com)

I found a listing date for this bridge for the NRHP; please correct me if it has since been removed. (Information taken from a spreadsheet that was said to be current as of October 17.)

Here too is the nomination form that was sent for its submission:

Posted December 27, 2018, by Mike Kerkau (mjkerkau [at] gmail [dot] com)


I saw that this bridge is now closed...when did that happen? (I tried Googling and came up empty.)

In any case, with this now closed, I appears that this would've been the last through truss still open to vehicle traffic that also sits in a completely rural area in all of Michigan, all the rest would seem to be in either small towns (Portland), cities (Midland, Grand Rapids), or else otherwise aren't that far out of a town (the two in Washtenaw).

Posted December 27, 2018, by Mike Kerkau (mjkerkau [at] gmail [dot] com)

There isn't a way to edit photo captions, is there? Only because the caption for the first photo says it was documented in August 1998 - except that the record in the last photo says 1988, not 98.

(For that matter, based on other bridges that have these engineering records posted to them, my guess would be that this was removed somewhere not long after that - maybe somewhere in the late 1988-1990 range.)

Posted December 25, 2018, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

I'm looking at it and it could be shadowing or where two images have been spliced together.

Posted December 25, 2018, by Mike Kerkau (mjkerkau [at] gmail [dot] com)

Took a bit longer than expected, but, replacement is underway:

Posted December 25, 2018, by Mike Kerkau (mjkerkau [at] gmail [dot] com)

Looking at this on satellite, it looks like about half the deck has fallen away...!

Posted December 18, 2018, by Paul Walker (pkwalker [at] charter [dot] net)

The Siphon Bridge was built in 1919, not 1918.


Paul Walker

Vice President

Schoolcraft County Historical Society

Posted November 30, 2018, by Anonymous

The amazing "construction story" of 1868 given in the above Description together with the Leland photo are similar to the unbelievable 1859 "construction story" being written for the six Whipple bowstring cast and wrought iron arch bridges built for the Beale Wagon Road in Indian Territory (Oklahoma) just west of Fort Smith. All six bridges were destroyed during the Civil War, as they ran east-west along the battle lines between the Union and Confederate armies. Your Whipple bridge must have been almost identical to them.

Posted November 29, 2018, by Luke

But did you catch the aliens at Area 51?

Posted November 29, 2018, by Glen Granger (gwgranger1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

When I was a police officer for Saginaw we would use it to quickly get to area 7 from area 1.

Posted November 24, 2018, by Mike Kerkau (mjkerkau [at] gmail [dot] com)

Only 5 years...despite apparently being a swing bridge, would this have always been intended as a temporary bridge while the bascule that opened in 1926 was being constructed?

(BTW, the "Oldest" would be the predecessor rather than the successor, though I don't think I have the ability to fix that.)

Posted November 24, 2018, by Mike Kerkau (mjkerkau [at] gmail [dot] com)

The only place that even remotely looks like it could be "Mitchell Road" in this area - and even the road itself mostly no longer exists, never mind any bridge!

Posted November 22, 2018, by FRANK FICK (fickkats [at] aol [dot] com)

Not official but it looks like the City of Midland is pursuing charges

Posted November 22, 2018, by Mike Kerkau (mjkerkau [at] gmail [dot] com)

Nevermind RE: the "type" issue; this update should suffice.

Posted November 22, 2018, by Mike Kerkau (mjkerkau [at] gmail [dot] com)

Ditto on the "too far to drive" count, at least for me right now.

I was going through closed/abandoned Michigan bridges last night, and noticed that several of them had been posted here with little-to-no data; this had been one of them. It also turned out to be the only one that could even offer a picture without having to scour for one (again, thanks to Google).

As a practical matter, the only girder choices available on the site (to re-categorize this) that aren't concrete girders are deck girder and plate girder, and from what I can tell, this doesn't appear to be either of those, either.

I'd hazard a guess that the county has abandoned it, however, as it disappears from the NBI in 2008.

Posted November 22, 2018, by Mike Kerkau (mjkerkau [at] gmail [dot] com)

On a more positive note, the west channel of the formerly-linked Cass Avenue-Hotchkiss Road stretch is being looked at for re-purposing.

Plans are currently to construct a pedestrian bridge somewhere in the west channel to link Bay County's Riverwalk/Rail Trail (which includes a loop throughout the city and a trail that goes all the way out to Bay City State Recreation Area) with a recently-paved Bay-Zilwaukee trail that currently starts at the east end of Hotchkiss on the west side of the river.

These, in turn, are intended to be a part of a network of trails that links Bay, Saginaw, and Midland Counties.

(On the east side of the river, the west end of Cass Avenue now serves as a boat launch, which had a major overhaul done sometime in the past 10-15 years.)

Posted November 22, 2018, by Mike Kerkau (mjkerkau [at] gmail [dot] com)

"The city decided to close and demolish the bridge as it was badly in need of major repairs."

Deja vu! Finding funding to repair the city's main (bascule) bridges has become something of an albatross hanging over the city as of late. See also: Lafayette Street Bridge, East Channel.

As it stands, either Liberty Bridge or Independence are facing an option of tearing it down and not replacing it. (Highly unlikely that it happens to both, not unless cost became an even bigger catastrophe.) Neither is necessarily a guarantee as yet; each is individually more at the "it's on the table as a real option" stage.

Posted November 22, 2018, by Clark Vance (cvance [at] dogmail [dot] com)

Only a picture of below will say for sure. Too far for me to drive!

Posted November 22, 2018, by Luke

Looks like a lattice girder.

Posted November 22, 2018, by Clark Vance (cvance [at] dogmail [dot] com)

Are those trusses or railings?

Posted November 22, 2018, by Mike Kerkau (mjkerkau [at] gmail [dot] com)

Incredible that Google had such a readily-current view available!

Posted November 22, 2018, by Mike Kerkau (mjkerkau [at] gmail [dot] com)

Not sure if Google is right or wrong in calling it "Hadley" instead of "Hoadley", but either way, it's gone.

Posted November 22, 2018, by Mike Kerkau (mjkerkau [at] gmail [dot] com)

...and only after I posted that did I check and find confirmation that yes, it's gone. Whoops!

Posted November 22, 2018, by Mike Kerkau (mjkerkau [at] gmail [dot] com)

Gone, those look very much like its remaining abutments on satellite.

Posted November 22, 2018, by Mike Kerkau (mjkerkau [at] gmail [dot] com)

Gone, and probably removed between 2000 and 2004, as '04 is when it disappears from the NBI.

Posted November 22, 2018, by Mike Kerkau (mjkerkau [at] gmail [dot] com)

Gone, methinks. Zooming in on the satellite imagery here -,-83.390013,1194m/dat... - suggests it may have collapsed at some point.

Posted November 21, 2018, by Mike Kerkau (mjkerkau [at] gmail [dot] com)

Satellite imagery shows over half its deck is gone now...

Posted November 17, 2018, by Mike Kerkau (mjkerkau [at] gmail [dot] com)

The culprit was - Survey Says! - an overweight vehicle:

Apparently people had been using this route as an unofficial M-20 construction detour. The city was vigilant of the situation though, as they were tipped off by a private citizen and then moved to close the bridge right away and inspect it.

Given that they seem to still hold the bridge in high regard, I wouldn't expect them to ditch it so freely. Let's hope not, anyway...

Posted November 17, 2018, by Mike Kerkau (mjkerkau [at] gmail [dot] com)

Closed until further notice due to (unspecified) damage found:

Posted September 27, 2018, by Mike Kerkau (mjkerkau [at] gmail [dot] com)

Despite its Fair/Satisfactory inspection condition, this bridge doesn't give the appearance of being very well-kept, and for that matter neither does Chip Road even beyond the bridge.

Kind of disappointed to find the railings are pretty much guardrails fastened to the wooden supports. Better examples of proper wooden-railing bridges in the county are:

Nine Mile Road over the North Branch of the Kawkawlin River:,-84.0676009,3a,75y,1...

Kinney Road:,-83.7086255,3a,75y,2...

The latter is itself a wood slab.

Posted September 26, 2018, by Nathan Holth (webmaster [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

In Michigan, plaques from former bridges are commonly attached to all-new replacement bridges, so they do not always tell the truth. As for this bridge, my field visit indicated the bridge was all-new construction, with the possible reuse of the bottom/underwater portion of the piers.

Posted September 20, 2018, by Nathan Holth (webmaster [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

This bridge already had been moved once before so I assume it was not delisted from the National Register. However in contrast, I was told all the bridges in Historic Bridge Park in Calhoun County were delisted. That doesn't change the historic significance of those bridges, I think it was more of a clerical outcome given that the bridges were dismantled and in storage for a period prior to being erected at the park.

Posted September 20, 2018, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Not a silly question at all.

Hopefully the SHPO (State Historic Preservation Officer) has been made aware of the relocation and can file the appropriate paperwork (if necessary) to keep the listing intact.

Posted September 20, 2018, by Mike Kerkau (mjkerkau [at] gmail [dot] com)

This is probably a silly question, but when a bridge that had been listed on the NRHP in its previous location gets moved, does it lose its listing or no?

Posted September 20, 2018, by Mike Kerkau (mjkerkau [at] gmail [dot] com)

Page for the bridge in its new location:

Posted September 18, 2018, by Mike Kerkau (mjkerkau [at] gmail [dot] com)

Well, apparently this time both the superstructure and the foundation will be up for replacement. So...there's that.

For context RE: 1987 though - I could probably find pre-1987 photos if I dig hard enough, but otherwise, are such images readily available? I was born in '85 and am not sure Id've even ever crossed this bridge prior to '87, never mind being able to remember doing so. Though for that matter, my family used to live just outside the city; we moved within the city limits in 1993.

Posted September 17, 2018, by Dana and Kay Klein

Thanks Clark.

Posted September 17, 2018, by Nathan Holth (webmaster [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

This bridge was essentially demolished and replaced in 1987. The entire superstructure including bascule leaves were replaced. So if they are replacing that already its a rather interesting development.

Posted September 17, 2018, by Clark Vance (cvance [at] dogmail [dot] com)

1958 topo shows Pennsylvania RR.

Posted September 16, 2018, by Dana and Kay Klein

Thanks Mike, wasn't sure of Former RR and if open to pedestrians. Im old and it was getting late so posted what I knew. Bridge titan LUKE as often happens fixed for me.

Posted September 16, 2018, by Dana and Kay Klein

always appreciate your assist! Sometimes Ill post and come back. All edits to make for clarity correctness etc FINE with me. If Ive really missed the boat (as I have) let me know Ill Delete and start over.

Posted September 15, 2018, by Luke

Dana/Kay often omits RR names or status (And sometimes design) if they don't know or cannot find them.

Sometimes irksome, but understandable considering some users get themselves worked up over the minutiae instead of just changing it.

Posted September 15, 2018, by Mike Kerkau (mjkerkau [at] gmail [dot] com)

Unknown status? There's a NBI report which would seem to indicate that it's still there, the StreetView shows likewise... nothing happened to this bridge very recently, did it?

Posted September 15, 2018, by Mike Kerkau (mjkerkau [at] gmail [dot] com)

MDOT has this scheduled for replacement. The project is scheduled to begin in 2020, and reportedly could take up to two years to complete. The West Channel bridge will not be having work done at that time.

As someone who goes over this bridge several times per WEEK as of late, oh boy will this be a headache to deal with once 2020 hits.

Posted September 13, 2018, by Mike Kerkau (mjkerkau [at] gmail [dot] com)

I'm not able to see trains actually going across this bridge very often, but yesterday when I was driving over Liberty there was one at the west side approach getting ready to cross.

Posted September 13, 2018, by Nathan Holth (webmaster [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

Mike, yes that one in Midland looks like the more common standard design what I'm used to seeing in Michigan... and a pretty good example being as it hasn't had modern railings added and also is not deteriorated. The Bay County ones definitely stand out as an interesting variation.

Posted September 13, 2018, by Mike Kerkau (mjkerkau [at] gmail [dot] com)

Being excluded from the NBI because they're too short makes sense.

I also found a bridge closer to me that'd be another example of the Fisher Road bridges you're talking about. When I went to check out the Midland County bridges last week, I took Tittabawassee Road out west, and happened to drive across such a bridge near Smiths Crossing Road. The NBI says it's a T-beam built in 1932, and I don't see a plaque on it (not on the road sides, anyway), which fits with what you've said about this bridge plan:,-84.1897536,3a,60y,1...

At first, I would've thought this one was a version of the same [Bay County] bridge plan with taller railings, but if Bay County adapted what was already a standard used by the state and by several other counties, then that makes sense too.

Posted September 13, 2018, by Dana and Kay Klein

Mike believe you to be correct. build date unknown for now.

Posted September 13, 2018, by Mike Kerkau (mjkerkau [at] gmail [dot] com)

Just to clarify, I don't think this was actually *built* in 1965 - at one point when I was trying to get the NBI data interfaced properly with this and the replacement bridge, it came back with a "reconstructed 1965" statistic on the edit screen.

Also, in the older NBI listings - 1992, 1996, 2000 - this is just listed with an unknown build date. However, if there's another info source out there that proves the 1965 build date...then nevermind what I just said.

Posted September 13, 2018, by Nathan Holth (webmaster [at] historicbridges [dot] org)


They are unlisted because the span is under 20 foot, and thus they are excluded from the National Bridge Inventory. Seeing these shorter spans just allowed me to draw a connection to the railing design, however. It appears that what the Bay County Road Commission did with the larger bridges is basically adapt Michigan's standard plan short-span slab/t-beam railing and used it for longer steel stringer spans, and also added a county-design plaque as well. In the more common "mini-girder" style railing, note the very short span length and lack of a plaque. Many counties as well as the State Highway Department utilized these standard plan small-scale bridges. See this page where I showcased a road that had a variety of less-than-20 foot examples of this design. Note the similar railing design to Bay County but the lack of plaque.

Posted September 13, 2018, by Mike Kerkau (mjkerkau [at] gmail [dot] com)

Missed one. Prevo Road west of M-13 also has one unaccounted for:,-83.9803024,3a,75y,7...

And that's not referring to the culvert that is closer to the highway along that same stretch, which IS accounted for here:

Posted September 13, 2018, by Mike Kerkau (mjkerkau [at] gmail [dot] com)

The replacement bridge can be seen here:

Posted September 13, 2018, by Mike Kerkau (mjkerkau [at] gmail [dot] com)
Posted September 13, 2018, by Mike Kerkau (mjkerkau [at] gmail [dot] com)
Posted September 13, 2018, by Mike Kerkau (mjkerkau [at] gmail [dot] com)

Picture of the new bridge (StreetView is not available for Lasalle Road):

As far as bridge replacement goes, I'd call this an example of, if you're set on replacing a bridge altogether, you could do far worse than what was done here.

A case in point of "worse": The Aarwood Road bridge, on that same page.

Posted September 13, 2018, by Mike Kerkau (mjkerkau [at] gmail [dot] com)

Something else I've noticed about these tiny concrete girder bridges here in Bay County is that there's at least a few of them that aren't even accounted for at all in the NBI for whatever reason.

Myers Road, at Mackinaw:,-83.9946707,3a,75y,2...

Delta Road, at Two Mile:,-83.9342576,3a,75y,31...

Three Mile Road, between Hotchkiss and Salzburg:,-83.9535788,3a,75y,1...

The first two are dead-end roads, but the third is not, and that one I'm sure sees a fair amount of traffic (it's not far from Delta College). I'm not sure what to make of there not being any records for these. (I also took a few pictures of the one at Delta Road a few months ago; its plaque gives a year of 1941.)

Posted September 10, 2018, by Mike Kerkau (mjkerkau [at] gmail [dot] com)

This is a marker for the pedestrian pier that now stands where the bridge used to. It says the bridge had been built in 1911 rather than 1913 (though that could very well be wrong), but it also gives a construction date for the pier as 1989, guess, the bridge was removed sometime in the 80s?

Posted September 8, 2018, by Luke

I think the 1999 "rehab" date was a replacement

Posted September 8, 2018, by Mike Kerkau (mjkerkau [at] gmail [dot] com)

After seeing this photo, it would not shock me if what I drove over earlier today (my prior post) was an entirely different bridge rather than simply the same bridge with wood railings where the trusses used to be.

Another photo of the same bridge:

Posted September 8, 2018, by Mike Kerkau (mjkerkau [at] gmail [dot] com)

The second photo definitely faces north; neither of the two Alamando bridges listed has a left turn that close when facing south. And the way the road narrows in the second photo makes me think both these photos are for this bridge when it was there and not for the other.

Posted September 8, 2018, by Mike Kerkau (mjkerkau [at] gmail [dot] com)

When I was mapping a route to check out the other Magrudder Road bridge and the two Alamando Road bridge sites, I saw on satellite that there was something here, so I elected to drive through and see what it was.

Wonder why the builders decided to go with concrete railings on this one?

Posted September 8, 2018, by Mike Kerkau (mjkerkau [at] gmail [dot] com)

And this one has the same issue as the Alamando Road Bridge (the one where there is still a bridge there). There's still a bridge that crosses here, but it has wooden railings now instead of trusses.

Posted September 8, 2018, by Mike Kerkau (mjkerkau [at] gmail [dot] com)

My guess would be that it was removed (possibly collapsed?) somewhere between 2000 and 2004, because in going through the NBI, 2004 is when it disappears. (It was closed prior to that, all the way back to 1992 at least.)

Posted September 8, 2018, by Mike Kerkau (mjkerkau [at] gmail [dot] com)

Whereas here, there is no such ambiguity. The bridge is very obviously no longer there, as indicated by the below photo. (This is facing south.)

The Midland Center For the Arts does have a collection of old bridge photos for throughout the county. I'll post a link once I go through them again and find the correct one that matches this one.

Posted September 8, 2018, by Mike Kerkau (mjkerkau [at] gmail [dot] com)

Question. What's the proper edit that should be done when the bridge itself is still in place, but the trusses are not? Or is it fair to say this is a case where there was a full bridge replacement?

Here's how it looks now in any case, with wooden railings instead of metal trusses:

Posted September 6, 2018, by Mike Kerkau (mjkerkau [at] gmail [dot] com)

Oof. I guess I shouldn't be surprised if at some point I hear of a construction project in the area, then. The Road Commission has had several different projects going throughout the county, and they're somewhat spread out. There's even been a couple closures this year as well, including another one just like this south of this one on Mackinaw. (The one over Johnson Drain.)

The design being unique to the county must be why I can find them all over the place here, though.

Posted September 6, 2018, by Nathan Holth (webmaster [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

Mike, I photographed this bridge a while ago as a representative example of the type, I just haven't added it to my website at yet as its a low priority addition. However I can say that this bridge is also in very poor condition, see attached photo. However bridge closures are often triggered by a single isolated problem, for example maybe moisture leaked just by chance through the deck and deteriorated one beam more than the others, in that sense a closure might be triggered by something random that is not connected to traffic volume. As for the design of these bridges, they are a county road commission design) (rather than a county bridge built using a state highway department design). As such the railing design and plaque design is unique to Bay County.

Posted September 5, 2018, by Mike Kerkau (mjkerkau [at] gmail [dot] com)

A few months ago I went on a StreetView spree looking at many of the county roads in Bay County, and I was a little surprised (maybe also disappointed) at how many of these little tiny things there are throughout the county.

What's kind of strange to me though is, one of the two bridges that's listed as Closed in Bay County is over on Erickson Road and is another one of the "tiny little things":

That's been closed for 3 years now, despite apparently having a fair amount less of traffic than is the case here. (172/day for that bridge versus 274/day for this one.) And, its inspection condition is roughly comparable to this bridge. Yet this is open and that is closed.

Posted September 4, 2018, by Mike Kerkau (mjkerkau [at] gmail [dot] com)

Huh! In looking at the forum, I guess I found another bridge in the vein of Honouli Wai or Bath House Road, didn't I? *shrugs*

Driving around the curve from Rashotte Road onto Avalon, it made me think there was definitely a culvert in the channel - but, in looking at pictures of those other two bridges, the arch of this one looks a LOT like it does for them underneath.

Whereas Honouli Wai has 3 arches and Bath House Road has 2, this only has the one. And the arches on those don't look nearly as raised as this one is.

Posted September 4, 2018, by Dana and Kay Klein

24 feet, still culvert? Just curious

Posted September 4, 2018, by Mike Kerkau (mjkerkau [at] gmail [dot] com)

As you can tell from the picture at the top, Avalon Road is home to a shoreline neighborhood (one of several in Bay County), and in fact, it's right in the northeast corner of the county.

So despite the minimum load posting, I doubt very much that this area sees giant vehicle traffic.

The top picture doesn't show it very well, but this is a fairly steep crossing for a bridge/culvert. Trying to get good pictures didn't go so well, between the multiple "no parking" signs posted and a resident's dog out and about in the one area where I could have feasibly parked (might as well have been a guard dog). So both pictures that I've posted here were taken while I was sitting in the car.

Even though this crossing really does consist of a large culvert (thus its steep-ness), this one at least has a rather interesting design around it. There's actually a second one at the north end of the road, that is also steep but is far less aesthetically interesting.

Posted September 4, 2018, by Mike Kerkau (mjkerkau [at] gmail [dot] com)

Posted load

Posted August 5, 2018, by Mike Kerkau (mjkerkau [at] gmail [dot] com)

From what I've been able to Google, the bridge removal was complete by early May. Plans for replacement are currently uncertain - apparently replacement was to be underway by now, but those plans have been put on hold.

Article with info and (albeit low-quality) picture of the site post-removal:

Oh and here's something really nifty. Apparently someone thought to post a sped-up video clip of the bridge being lifted off the crossing intact:

However - whether it's since been disassembled or still remains intact somewhere, I do not know.

Posted July 31, 2018, by Eric risse (Ericrisse [at] me [dot] com)

This bridge originally had fewer spans, to allow heavier trains to cross it, the trusses were cut in half and additional piers added to increase the load capacity.

Posted July 30, 2018, by Jim Treadgold (jim [dot] treadgold [at] btinternet [dot] com)

31st July 2018

Bridge completely removed

Posted June 5, 2018, by Jeff Routson (jroutson&hardestyhanover [dot] com)

The design of the Fort Street Bridge was directed by the Okemos, MI office of Hardesty & Hanover.

A Scherzer type bascule is not at all uncommon for 2015. At least 5 have been completed since 2010.

Posted May 29, 2018, by Mike Kerkau (mjkerkau [at] gmail [dot] com)

I'm guessing that this is what whomever posted this had in mind:

Note the pedestrian truss bridge next to it. The picture right before that has more of a street-level view - compare that picture to how the area looks now on Google StreetView, and my bet would be that both bridges were removed when they filled the area in.

Posted May 27, 2018, by Dave King (DKinghawkfan [at] hotmail [dot] com)

The bridge with wooden railings you are referring to is nothing notable. It's a steel stringer built in 1980.

Posted May 26, 2018, by Mike Kerkau (mjkerkau [at] gmail [dot] com)

Well, if we weren't convinced that it was gone before - what I've just uploaded should do the trick.

I elected to take this side trip on my way home from visiting one of my cousins who lives up by Pinconning. I was surprised, because I thought I'd be able to get closer on the west side (turning off Garfield) rather than the east side (turning off Nine Mile), and it turned out that the reverse was true. I was also surprised that the west side was as well paved as it was, almost like it was/had been a primary road (the very end notwithstanding).

I'd be interested to find out anything more about its removal in records, but have not the slightest idea of what I should look into for that.

On an unrelated note, not long after I turned back onto Nine Mile and continued south, I noticed one bridge I crossed had wooden railings. That stood out immediately for the sake of, well, being a road bridge with wooden railings still standing in 2018. Didn't stop to check it out or anything because I was pressed for time, but...probably next chance I get, I'll head back there.

Posted May 1, 2018, by Nathan Holth (webmaster [at] historicbridges [dot] org)


I believe one of the strongest voices in favor of demolition passed away a couple years ago. Unfortunately the bridge is an expensive proposition to restore due to the fact that all pin plates on the lower chord connections have been compromised by dangerously poor repairs in the bridge's past that would all need to be replaced. That said, if anyone out there has a ton of money burning a whole in their pocket this bridge is available for reuse.

Posted April 30, 2018, by Mike (mjkerkau [at] gmail [dot] com)

Seven years later...evidently the quest to have the bridge removed must have fallen apart.

Assuming this Google Maps satellite view is accurate, it appears to still be standing in place:,-84.9328707,150m/dat...

A regular Google search also turned up these county Road Commission minutes:

At the June 14 meeting just last year, someone was asking about its removal. The fact that that question would even be posed clearly means it was still there then - and I'm inclined to think it still is now.

Incidentally, there was another search result from a 2014 RC meeting where the preview mentions something about limited repairs to the bridge, but the link doesn't work so you can't read it from there.

Posted April 28, 2018, by Mike (mjkerkau [at] gmail [dot] com)

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but...

This bridge appears to be on its way out:

Posted April 27, 2018, by Don


I believe many of these bridges were added by James early on from the NIB. Bridgehunter is copyright 2002 to 2018.

That is the reason for the disclaimer about being from the NBI and not verified, no photo and no map.

They may have been added from the early NBI and not been changed even as they have been lost and/or delisted in later versions.

I believe that these "not verified" bridges appear in the to do list as well.

Position data and current status may not have been updated in all this time, and may be wrong. Of course, the position hasn't moved, but it may be approximate, not exact.

Sometimes, it's hard to figure out exactly where the bridges were due to inaccuracies in the NBI.

If you have an editor account and current correct info, you could update these pages and any in the to do list if you wish.

A good way to start contributing is to visit and document some of these bridges in your area. Using satellite imagery can be useful to verify lost bridges too.

Posted April 27, 2018, by Mike (mjkerkau [at] gmail [dot] com)

Err...I think this page may need updating?

The Historic Bridges page has it well-documented that the original bridge no longer exists, but for whatever reason this page doesn't appear to reflect that. (Among other things, I'm pretty sure the inspection stats listed - which are from 2016 - are for the replacement bridge which was installed in 2011.)

The original bridge was washed out due to a heavy rainstorm on June 12-13, 2008 (article linked which gives the date):

Page 3 of this PDF has a photo of the replacement bridge (which doesn't look half-bad considering what it replaced):