Thank you to Tony and Luke for your assistance! Luke, I Definitely knew I needed help with the railroad information.
Thank you Nathan. I appreciate your kind words. I quite enjoy the history behind the Lost bridges. I can't field visit as often as I'd like so this is a way for me to contribute.
I greatly appreciate the effort to dig up all these old news articles and photos of bridges. The work is revealing photos for which no information can be found elsewhere. I made a similar attempt to find bridge articles in newspapers a couple years ago but gave up when I saw how much time it was going to take. So I recognize and appreciate the work and time commitment made.
As for this bridge, I see the 1927 improvements included an approach span with MSHD standard balustrade railings. A huge number of bridges were built in Michigan during the relatively short period of 1927-1932 when this style of railing was used.
I have not found an Exact construction date yet but I'm still looking.
Heh, I'm not sure the articles agree what year exactly this was built. One said 1899, the two-part detailed history said 1897, and Google pointed me to a third that called it a "77-year old" bridge...and the article's from 1977, so that means 1900. Doubt it's that one, but still - is it 1899 or 1897?
That is funny though that the one article that came up in Google was from a different date entirely than any of the ones posted here. Same paper though of course.
Thank Tony !
In looking for bridges in or around this location, I started at the beginning - 1992 - and the best I could find was a joint U.S. 31/U.S. 33 crossing, for a bridge that was built in 1949. Bar a surprise relocation, that wouldn't be this bridge, so instead it'd be when this one came down.
The 1949 bridge changes to a 1994-built bridge - its current iteration - in the 96 listing. The location listing changes to U.S. 31 Business Route in 2004, and then to the current M-139 in 2012. That's where the Michigan Highways information backs this up, as per their records, a section of U.S. 31 freeway opening removed 31 from Berrien Springs in 2003, and then in 2010, Business 31 is referred to as soon-to-be M-139.
Thanks Tony ! This was an interesting project.
(Source: Donald Harrison, http://www.flickr.com/photos/upnorthmemories/6092383123/, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
Only in Michigan have I seen them essentially dam a majority of a stream and build a shorter bridge over the rest. I'm guessing this can be attributed to slow-flowing water that doesn't cause erosion issues... Nathan?
Pity. I'm guessing the same is true for the other two stored bridges from this county - Lowell Road and Monroe Road?
Tony: That would explain a lot. As Nathan said, there's plenty of "repairs" that are really replacements, and it's especially noticeable when the structure type changes in the listing.
Melissa: The other (slight) flaw lies on the newspaper end, in that some liberty was taken with the direction. The location you originally posted does fit better as a purely "northeast" direction from Elkton. That said, all this discussion lets me answer a question I have in my notes - a few months ago, I took notes on the older bridges from this county, and for this I'd listed that 1963 may or may not be a replacement (but either way, there's no StreetView). This would certainly answer that question.
That is to say, thank you for posting this in the first place!
I do believe the location Mike provided is correct. I simply overlooked it. I agree the NBI has somewhat flawed information. In Illinois it lists ponies as through trusses. I think there was something in the forum about that the other day on another bridge.
I can tell you Michigan's NBI data has a number of instances where a "replacement" shows as a "rehab" so that's not unusual in this state.
This is likely another instance where the substructure (abutments) were reused for the replacement span. The NBI date would remain unchanged if that were the case.
Wish I had better news, but its still in storage with no plans for reuse.
Out of curiousity - eight years later - is this one still in storage, or has it since been re-erected in a new (presumably pedestrian) location?
Mike, it certainly seems like an oversight on my end. I am changing the information now. Thank you for your help!
Is this the location for this bridge, or would it be the one here?: http://bridgereports.com/1250498
That link would also be "northeast" of Elkton, albeit much more north than east - but it's worth noting that that one has a build year of 1910 and repair year of 1963. Granted, there's a good chance that "1963" represents a new build entirely and thus listing it as a "repair" year is in error, but the 1963 stat nonetheless stands out given the 1962 collapse of the bridge in the article here. Not helping matters is that the location currently mapped is listed as the East Branch of the Pinnebog.
Essentially, I'm wondering if there's a possibility that the location I'm linking to is the correct one - a truss built in (or around) 1910, and the listed "repair" in 1963 is actually the replacement because of what happened in '62? Would that fit, or is there something else that proves it is the east location?
Mike, thank you. I wanted to link them but was unsure how to phrase it.
I linked this page with the one for its present listing in Lenawee County - I would have selected an option for a full relocation from the drop-down menu if I could have; however, there isn't one. Similarly, there isn't such an option listed on the drop-down for a bridge's current status, either. Any chance those can be accounted for?
Archaic and Rotting were his two favorite words !
Love this writer's lack of knowledge and dramatic flair in penning this article. They forget to mention the part about how a lack of maintenance plays a major role in a bridge reaching this condition!
Thanks Tony !
Dana & Kay, thanks for adding this . It's definitely kept me entertained for a bit. There's enough information to write a book. Seriously. Multiple car accidents, an arson attempt, lawsuits, a flood, repairs, multiple openings and closings. I restrained myself as much as possible; I wanted to add Everything!
I wanted to set the StreetView for 2008 directly so that I wouldn't have to put that instruction as the view name, but it wouldn't let me do that.
Nevertheless, the old StreetView lets you see what the old bridge would have looked like. Kind of interesting that the (still standing) slightly newer M-204 bridge ended up on the NRHP while this one apparently didn't merit inclusion.
Interesting bridge that appears to possibly be more derelict than functional now due to erosion of the point.
It would appear pic #1 is of a later origin given that 3 of the 4 cap stones are missing.
This is a State Trunkline so its MDOT ownership. The bridge is noted in the 12 month projected lettings list, the project described as follows:
November 1st, 2019:
M-227 (Kalamazoo Ave) over Kalamazoo River 341-New Structure On Existing Route
This suggests a bridge replacement will be bid at the end of the year, so construction likely would begin in late winter or spring 2020.
I'd field that question to the (Calhoun) county road commission. They may direct you to MDOT seeing as the road is M-227, but they may also know the answer to that themselves.
I doubt anyone here would know, unless someone is either a resident or is otherwise well-informed about the area or the county. I myself tried Googling before typing this, and came up empty.
Just in case my first message did not get sent please advise when the walkway on the Kalamazoo River Bridge on 227 in Marshall will be repaired/reopened? And if this is the wrong place to ask the question please advise who to contact for this info. Thank you
Given that this doesn't have a credit showing for who added it, I'm guessing it was added quite some time ago.
In any case, this was probably replaced outright back in '02; it's another one of those where the type changes - though here, even the records reflect that (if not until 2017 does a build/repair date change to a new build date).
So...yeah, I've been waiting to post this one until I made the time to get photos of it.
I could tell it had plaques still on it just from StreetView, but would not have guessed it was specifically a Works Program Grade Crossing Project bridge (a New Deal program). Then again, given the year - maybe I should have?
This has design similarities in comparison to the Dort Highway railroad overpass down in Flint - https://historicbridges.org/bridges/browser/?bridgebrowser=o... - which is now missing its plaque(s); it wouldn't surprise me if that bridge were a Works Program Grade Crossing bridge too.
This is one of three bridges that have the R4 railings in this county, though this is probably the only one worth posting, helped by its length. And yes, all three are on this same road. (And all three also have guardrails covering them.) Oddly enough, the other two are listed as culverts, yet still have this railing.
The NBI lists only 30 bridges total in this entire county, so unsurprisingly, there’s not much to look for here. This is the only one I can confirm from afar as having the one-time state-standard straight through girder look, though this one is a slab. (McConnell Road, built the year before, doesn’t have a StreetView.)
This bridge is noteworthy not for having a nationally-significant design like the arch bridges, but because this particular railing style appears to have been a build unique to the county. Further, I’ve been able to find at least 8, maybe 9 examples of bridges that existed with this surface aesthetic using just NBI and StreetView data, all of which date to the 1930s – quite possibly making them products of the Depression Era.
This one is the oldest of them that remains – despite this being on a dirt road, others were built on paved roads. This one just happens to be (in my opinion) the best-looking one on a street level. (Though as the view is from 2011, it’s quite possible that that hasn’t held up over the decade.) The worst, is probably easily the one on Lillie Road over the Shiawassee River – which was closed on 10/3/2017: https://www.mlive.com/news/flint/2017/10/rotten_beams_worn-o...
This pedestrian overpass was torn down in 2018 after a vehicle slammed into the cement support structure under the bridge.
On my way to Midland this afternoon, I finally made the side trip to go check this out (along with a couple other places). Coming from the East side, it feels like it suddenly appears in front of you as soon as you round the final curve.
Wow, that barrier is higher in person than I realized. I'm 5 feet 6, and it's as tall as I am.
A propossed concept restoration as part of a rail trail
This is an interesting example of a bridge having one set of historical railings replaced with another, as the original balustrade railings (shown in the postcard) were replaced with the Michigan-distinctive "R4" railings (shown in the StreetView) when the bridge was repaired in 1958. This does appear to still be the same bridge otherwise, however - the Fenton Mill Pond has a couple hundred photos to go through, and the bridge can be seen in some of them.
MDOT also de-commissioned Business Route 23 through Fenton on December 7, 2006. The history of that particular route has some odd nuances as well, and those are documented on the Michigan Highways link that I've added.
This spot now shows a culvert there on satellite, and this wouldn't be the only instance of a crossing being replaced in this county where the replacement doesn't get listed (due to being too small), so my guess is it's gone.
That said - a deck truss being newly built in 1968?
And here's another surprise! Going through the records, I think this is the first one of these R4 railing bridges I've found that happens to be on a dirt road.
Some noticeable spalling, and it's even overgrown in a couple of places - on the other hand, the railings aren't covered up and it's another woodsy setting. And this time the StreetView is from just this past summer, so we get a relatively recent look at it.
It's also specified that it has an open grate deck (something else I haven't seen listed before) - what's the significance of that?
Well, this was definitely a surprising find. Can't say I was expecting to find that there's a lattice girder tucked away in the woods here.
It's another one of those super-rural areas that turns out to have a StreetView available, though the surface map shows it with the same distinction that you normally see with main primary roads.
And despite being a lower-quality image (from 2009), the area itself presents a very nice setting in the woods.
As it turns out, this is also apparently another one of those bridges that has a "crying baby" urban legend attached to it. I'll attach the links for that story.
This is also a bridge that is at very high risk for replacement, as the county is seeking to have that done. Both the township and the county road commission are pursuing it, but the hangup seems to be money. For that reason, I don't - yet - mark it as doomed. (If there were a replacement project in place set to happen with all the particulars and everything, then yes, that would indicate certain doom.)
"Metamora Township has experienced growth and continues to grow placing further burden on the transportation network" On a dirt road with an ADT of 155? Please!
I sometimes see these on similar viaducts and individual girder spans. I’ve heard them called “fishbellied” before Here’s an example on a short 50’ span:
Not yet sure on the history on that one, but it looks like it came from a larger viaduct. All spans on this branch line were moved from other places. Not sure why it would be on such a short span, as railroads routinely built even larger girders that were uniform depth. More examples:
Unusual to see this design on a deck girder but it's not a normal bridge.
Given that every span is like that, I doubt it's due to reuse.
If the limiting factor is bending, adding depth to the section may be the most efficient means of adding strength (and at midspan, the limiting factor is bending). Think of how many trusses have a deeper section midspan.
Also interesting is the girders with a shape like that of a turntable.
That sure is an unusual design.
I was thinking that it's odd that they don't have an upright above the center of the arch, rather than the deeper girder for the longer span, but I suppose that would significantly increase the loads in the arch.
Well that's nifty!
My dad used to take me to this bridge when I was a kid, mid 60's.
Very early in the morning we would drive over from Laingsburg, go mid-span, climb over the rail and sit on the junction of the cross-ties with our fishing bows and wait for the carp. Saw many big carp - 2' or so - but one morning saw a MONSTER!
Had to be over 4' long. The diamond point arrow head was too hard to drill through so my dad had attached the cord to the shaft.
Needless to say, there was now a huge carp swimming around with an arrow head stuck in his.
Some of my favorite father/son memories.
I asked James Baughn via email to update all my old website links at HistoricBridges.org. I've had thousands of pages redirecting for literally years now. My .htaccess file was too cluttered with all that. I have not heard back but until James updates all those links, many old links will not work.
I'm guessing this is what this bridge was: http://www.shiawasseehistory.com/images/vernonbridge.jpg
The picture is very small, but it doesn't seem likely that there is another one available.
mike double check, think about 3 people correcting at same time!
Ah...these bridges are currently reversed in order. The (Older) bridge is currently marked as this one's successor when it should be the predecessor.
I'd just fix it myself, if I had the ability to (which I don't).
NOTE: The previous Historic Bridges URL - https://historicbridges.org/truss/brink/ - gave me a 503 error. I added the updated link.
One of two former trunkline bridges very close together in this area.
This bridge used to serve M-30, from early 1927 up until the route was originally de-commissioned south of U.S. 10 in 1962.
The Michigan Highways link gives the details, but to piece them together:
In 1927, what had been a part of M-18 extending from Van Dyke Road in Gladwin County south to M-46 in Saginaw County was re-commissioned as M-30. Today, Meridian Road covers that whole trek all by itself, but that wasn't the case at this time.
Turns out that Meridian used to have two discontinuous segments, each north and south of the Tittabawassee River. South of the river, Meridian would turn into Wackerly Road, and going north from 46, M-30 would continue west along Wackerly, until hitting 7 Mile Road, at which point it then turned north, up to Saginaw Road. This bridge was a part of that. (M-30 would then turn ESE at Saginaw Road and follow what was then U.S. 10 until hitting the second segment of Meridian Road, then turning due north on Meridian and continuing from there.)
M-30, incidentally, was re-commissioned between the U.S. 10 freeway and M-20 back in 2009, shortly after a new bridge was built to connect the two segments of Meridian Road.
One of two former trunkline bridges very close together in this area; Nathan tells that story for this bridge on his site.
Did you ever hear back from Zehnder's?
Dana, I made a page for this bridge and upon looking at historic maps I feel as if this is a good proximity of the location. Please add the photo back to this page. Thx!
River Profile and approach angle similar to Mystery Bridge
I am not familiar with this bridge off the top of my head, but the next bridge northeast beyond Withers Road is (I believe) a historical route, as it would have connected Constantine to Three Rivers before US-131, and is called "Constantine Road" thus there is a possibility that is why the photo is labeled such.
Since this is a duplicate of an already-added bridge (The one I linked below.), and Jeff added a streetview, making it un-deletable without James' intervention, I found it best to find an un-added bridge to convert the entry to.
I say that because for the better part of 2 years there was a category for redundant/duplicate entries made by a now-former contributor that never got trimmed until I opted to convert some entries/annoyed James via email.
Okay, I'm confused Luke, this obviously isn't a closed-spandrel arch.
Thanks Dana! It looks as though Mr. de Graff was very active in Northern Indiana and Southern Michigan in the late 1860's!
Nice find Tony!
Already found that one, Tony :')
Dana, I looked around on Google Earth but couldn't see any possible location that stood out. Was going to make a page for it but it may well have been in Branch County and not St. Joseph. I actually stumbled across this bridge when I was looking for the other de Graff built Whipple Bowstrings that were built in Elkhart County, Indiana. It would seem that Mr. de Graff was pretty active in this region in the late 1860's!
Tony I'll delete photo till Leland Loci established. Thanks!
This photo is labeled as the Leland Bridge, and not the Farrand Bridge.
In Grant Farrand's notes he talks about the Leland Bridge being 5 miles to the East of the Farrand Bridge and says that it collapsed and was not replaced.
I can believe that,Tony.Now I don't feel so bad.LOL!
You're welcome George! That has tripped up many people on this site!
Okay,Tony.Thanks for explaining that.
George, that is a patent date... Not a build date. Given that I figure a ca. 1880 gives a bit of range.
Picture #4 says 1876 for the build date,not 1880.
Yeah... I claim brain-fart on that one!
Tony, this is the original/existing page with more detail. Here's your duplicate page... http://bridgehunter.com/mi/st-joseph/washington-street/
Dear Lord... It's lame enough that they feel the need to cut the width down (Because you know... it just has to be a one-lane pedestrian bridge!!). But yeah, that's ridiculous!
After seeing that the Townhall Bridge had been re-erected (the result notwithstanding), it makes me wonder if this has since been re-installed as it was intended as well. Though, I would not know where to look, as in even trying to check yesterday, I found out just how much ground the North Country Trail covers in the state...
Could have even boiled down to being as simple as "replace a truss with a truss"...despite the two being different types of trusses.
See also: The two posted examples in Mason County, and Holy Island Road in Charlevoix County.
Admittedly, after seeing you post that, it took me a bit to notice even when comparing the original location with the new one, though that's also due to the lattice railings that are on its original build; they cover up a bit that the telltale vertical pieces are facing in originally, and outward now.
Mike: Unlike Ohio, Michigan has not traditionally built modern welded highway truss bridges. So the county probably thought of this as a unique structure in Michigan. I think they chose a truss for aesthetic reasons (even though it looks nothing like the historic bridge it replaced). However, the bridge is no longer unique in Michigan. I'm not sure that we are going to turn into Ohio with welded trusses everywhere, but this bridge was replaced with a truss: https://historicbridges.org/bridges/browser/?bridgebrowser=b... and then another stringer bridge, this one in Eaton County, was replaced with a truss and the trusses blocked the view of the road for a nearby intersection resulting in many accidents. https://www.lansingstatejournal.com/story/news/local/2018/12...
Mike... at first I was admiring the photo you linked to with the beautiful rainbow... then I looked at the bridge... and burst into laughter!!!! THE BRIDGE TRUSSES ARE BACKWARDS!!!!! They put the bridge together BACKWARDS!!!! I've never seen something so ridiculous in all my life!!!!
Gee, the county likes showing this one off, eh?
http://www.ccrc-roads.com/ - right on the main page.
At least, I'm pretty sure this is the one...
Also, I'm thinking the NRHP listing isn't meant to be reflected here, though I'm not sure if the Register itself has been updated to reflect that the original bridge (which is/was on the Register) is no longer there.
Looks to me like the Beaverton School Forest Recreation Area now has it set up (though minus the lattice web): https://www.google.com/maps/place/43%C2%B053'59.1%22N+84%C2%...
The Tubes said it best... "She's A Beauty!"
This winter may have given us more cold and snow than we really needed, but here's a picturesque reminder of its good side: https://expo.advance.net/img/3ed966134a/width960/342_021519u...
Credit: MLive. Actually it was randomly used in an article about a recent rescue of a group of snowmobilers elsewhere in the county and has nothing to do with the bridge itself, but why pass this up?
Roscommon County doesn't have much to look for in terms of bridges, but I did find it interesting that they do have at least this one R4 bridge that isn't covered up. Even if it is tiny (which is why it's not in the NBI - too small).
What may be more interesting than the bridge in this case, is the road it's on. Go just a bit to the southeast on a map, and you'll see that the road is Old M-76 - which would explain this one-time state-standard bridge design being there: It's a former trunkline. I did find two other bridges in the county that also still have R4s, both further southeast on Old 76 - but, of course, they both have guardrails covering them up.
In any case, I'm including a link directly to the Michigan Highways entry on the old M-76 for more information. I'm estimating this bridge to have been built somewhere around 1950, based on the 1949-1950 entry in the timeline - turns out, the section of the road that runs directly between Roscommon and St. Helen didn't serve the M-76 route until that time (prior to that, it used to continue due north out of St. Helen). Further, the road wasn't even paved until 1950.
I think I did figure out these bridges are ca. 1960s to 1970s. Its not a Michigan design, I believe this style can be found out-of-state. Some company must have produced them.
The NBI shows 1931 but it has more errors than a Royals game. This looks a lot newer.
this bridge was not built in the 30's. it was installed in the late 60's
If that were the case I wouldn't have added it. :')
But the bridge it replaced (You can see it on the FB for the road comission) was ugly as sin. This is precast and modern, but at least it's not just ugly beams.
At first I thought this was going to be what replaced the bridge on David Highway, heh.
In any case, this was built to replace a UCEB*? Ha.
*I had to look up that acronym as it hasn't yet seared itself into my brain.
This one was replaced in 2016, per both the NBI records and this Facebook post from the Ionia County Road Commission: https://www.facebook.com/562278857212948/posts/road-closure-...
StreetView won't (yet) reflect that because the latest available there is from October 2013.
The 1992 NBI has this listed as a tee beam rather than a steel stringer - though that doesn't necessarily mean anything, from looking at older listings in other counties I've seen types change over the years where it didn't involve the bridge being replaced.
This is also visible from the current road, though you have to do a full zoom on StreetView to really get any kind of look at it.
Looks like by the time you got there, John, that this one had been closed for roughly 2 years.
StreetView tells that story, via the road's northern intersection at M-60: https://email@example.com,-84.8514061,3a,75y,1...
That's one spot where there's multiple "views" available, in this case October 2008 and May 2009. 2008 shows it still open, 2009 Road Closed is posted. And only that precise spot worked - just one click to the left, and you get a different pair of views from November 2007 and July 2014. (Clicking right keeps 2008/09, but the view is less optimal.)
An early 2009 closing is also not surprising actually, given that that winter (late 2008/early 2009) also saw the demise of the Parshallburg bridge and the closing of Hickory Island Road.
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).