Rating:
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Blue Water Bridge

Photos 

Looking North

Photo taken by Royce and Bobette Haley in June 2016

Enlarge

BH Photo #354778

Map 

Street View 

Description 

Width is estimate.

Facts 

Overview
Steel through arch bridge over St Clair River on I-94 EB
Location
Port Huron, St. Clair County, Michigan
Status
Open to traffic
History
Built 1997
Builders
- Buckland & Taylor Ltd. of North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
- Modjeski & Masters of Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania
Design
Steel through arch
Dimensions
Length of largest span: 922.0 ft.
Total length: 6,110.9 ft. (1.2 mi.)
Deck width: 50.0 ft.
Also called
Second Span
The New Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+42.99847, -82.42418   (decimal degrees)
42°59'54" N, 82°25'27" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
17/383914/4761628 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Port Huron
Inventory number
BH 72423 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • July 7, 2016: Updated by Nathan Holth: Added tied arch category, alternative names.
  • June 4, 2016: Added by Royce and Bobette Haley

Sources 

  • Royce and Bobette Haley - roycehaley111 [at] yahoo [dot] com
  • Nathan Holth

Comments 

Blue Water Bridge
Posted July 12, 2016, by Nathan Holth (nathan [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

Royce, that is a pretty ambitious schedule... if you are ever back in Michigan with more time feel free to get in touch with me if you are interested in meeting up. We sadly don't get many bridgehunters up here.

Blue Water Bridge
Posted July 12, 2016, by Royce and Bobette Haley (roycehaley111 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

Nathan,

I spent a stretch of my early life in Michigan. My dad's side of the family lives through out the SE. We spent a short vacation near Flint and unfortunately did not have a lot of time for bridges. I shot a few and took my kid to ride the Big Mac (used to scare the crap out of me when we would go camping up in the UP). I lived a short way from Port Huron near Richmond. Anyway we were pressed for time trying to make it to Niagara so not many bridges. But have some from the rest of the trip I am posting.

Royce

Blue Water Bridge
Posted July 7, 2016, by Nathan Holth (nathan [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

Royce: Looks like you visited Port Huron and the only bridge you photographed was the new Blue Water Bridge? Granted the old/historic bridge is harder to photo than the new bridge from the American side, but I was still surprised. Didn't visit any of the Black River bridges either?

The new Blue Water Bridge (aka the Second Span) was designed in an unusual Tied Arch design as a compromise for area residents who wanted a twin to the beautiful historic bridge (which would have been cost prohibitive). If anyone had tried to build a cable-stayed bridge here (one of the options presented to the public) the locals would have run the engineers out of town.

I grew up in Port Huron and all this seemed logical and I didn't realize how rare this was until I started documenting historic bridges in states like Missouri and Pennsylvania which think the only solution for a large-span historic truss is to demolish and replace with ugly cable-stayed bridge.

The historic span is currently being repainted. Repainting. Maintenance. For anyone reading this who lives in Missouri, these are things you can do keep a historic truss bridge in service. I grow tired of DOT claims that a rehabbed truss will fall apart after 25 years. The historic Blue Water Bridge was rehabbed in 1999. It isn't falling apart. Its just being repainted. Maybe a few minor repairs. Keep paint on a bridge and it won't fall apart. Also, look closely at the new bridge. See that brown stuff? Its called RUST. Yes, contrary to many DOTs that claim that new bridges do not require maintenance yet will last 100 years, this is not true. The new bridge will need to be repainted just like the historic bridge.