1 vote

Second Street Bridge


Second Street Bridge

Photo taken by C Hanchey in July 2011


BH Photo #206289


Street Views 


Whipple through truss bridge over Kalamazoo River on Second Street in Allegan
Allegan, Allegan County, Michigan
Open to traffic
Built 1886 by the King Iron Bridge Co.; rehabilitated 1982
- King Iron Bridge Co. of Cleveland, Ohio [also known as King Bridge Co.]
Whipple through truss
Span length: 229.0 ft.
Total length: 229.0 ft.
Deck width: 16.1 ft.
Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on June 11, 1980
Approximate latitude, longitude
+42.52575, -85.84844   (decimal degrees)
42°31'33" N, 85°50'54" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
16/594581/4708794 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Average daily traffic (as of 2006)
Inventory numbers
NRHP 80001845 (National Register of Historic Places reference number)
MINBI 034011800031B01 (Michigan bridge number on the National Bridge Inventory 2010 and before)
MINEW 00314 (Michigan bridge number on the National Bridge Inventory 2011 and later)
BH 19954 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection report (as of October 2017)
Overall condition: Fair
Superstructure condition rating: Fair (5 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Satisfactory (6 out of 9)
Deck condition rating: Fair (5 out of 9)
Sufficiency rating: 27.9 (out of 100)
View more at BridgeReports.com

Update Log 

  • April 20, 2021: New Street View added by Mike Kerkau
  • August 5, 2020: New Street View added by Tony Dillon
  • June 2, 2017: New photo from Dana and Kay Klein
  • April 17, 2016: New photo from Art Suckewer
  • November 14, 2013: New Street View added by J.P.
  • July 30, 2011: New photos from C Hanchey
  • March 8, 2011: Updated by Matthew Lohry: Updated GPS coordinates, corrected design type: This bridge is actually a Whipple through truss.



Second Street Bridge
Posted February 8, 2017, by Nathan Holth (webmaster [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

My point about the review of my photos is that if the plaque were not either original or an exact (ie made using a rubber mold of an original) copy it typically would have a smooth, modern, look to it.

I believe you refer to Alan King Sloan's King Bridge Company website? His impressive efforts are an ongoing research project and while he has an impressive wealth of information I would not assume it to be 100% complete to be sure. If you poke around on his website you will find a catalog of standard designs. It includes standard plaques. Your plaque was Standard Name Plate #4.

Obviously, the 1886 plaque on 2nd Street isn't one of the Standard Name Plates. However, it is not uprising that one of the company's longest span trusses located in the heart of a city would be given some "non-standard" treatment.

Also, I would add that King Bridge was one of the largest bridge companies in the country. It is unfathomable that a successful company of this size would have only built one bridge in 1886. No doubt there are many bridges they built that we don't have records of today.

Second Street Bridge
Posted February 8, 2017, by Art S. (asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)


The lower central plaque on the bridge has the maker's name and is standard for late King Whipple trusses. In fact, you will note it even has a date cartouche at it's top. However, it is blank - apparently the commissioners wanted a bit more 'bling' hence the large date plaques at the top.

Your plaque is for a smaller, probably Pratt, truss; look up the 1885 Mine Road bridge in Mercer County, NJ for comparison.

By the way, by restoration, do you mean that you have the capability of restoring the missing section and mounting tabs on your plaque and have done so on similar examples of old cast iron? If so, I'd love to see examples of your work!


Art S.

Second Street Bridge
Posted February 8, 2017, by David Lgendre (dlegend62 [at] gmail [dot] com)

I have done some more research on the King Iron Bridge and Manufacturing Co. I still did not find another bridge they built in 1886. I did however come across a typo that dated the 2nd street bridge at 1883. On their website is a tab for Bridge Plates-The Builders Signature. There they have examples of period Bridge plates which are identical to the plate I have pictured. The new photos that I am seeing of the 2nd Street Bridge have a the same shape Bridge Plate on the top cross-beam but only contain the year 1886. There is no example of such a plate on the King Iron Bridge website. The website also mentions how many bridges contained 4 to 5 plaques depending on the requests. I did not understand the comment about the photos you have. I would mention that I restore old cast iron and the picture I posted is after restoration. It did contain much rust with significant build-up. It also had the original iron hangers on the back which appeared to be cut-off with a torch. I removed and retained the hangers and the period bolts.

Second Street Bridge
Posted February 6, 2017, by Nathan Holth (webmaster [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

David, I am not sure what looks inauthentic about the 2nd Street Bridge's plaques, but I have looked at my photos of the plaque up close and it shows pitting and other details typical of original cast iron, or an exact re-cast replica. It can be seen in historical postcards as well. This bridge does have an unusually elaborate collection of plaques, including date plaque on top, builder plaque in the center of portal bracing, and end post plaques as well... this is much more than a typical King may have had. The 1886 plaque you have would be more common, I think the 2nd Street Bridge's arrangement is more elaborate because it was a large span located in the heart of a city. Smaller-span bridges and those in more rural locations for example would have had the "all-in-one" plaque of the style you have... so its hard to say what specific bridge it might have came from.

Second Street Bridge
Posted February 6, 2017, by David Legendre (dlegend62 [at] gmail [dot] com)

I was wondering if they replaced the date plaque 1886. I came across the cast iron plaque and this is the only bridge I can find from King in 1886. I will attach a photo of the piece I found and I must say it appears more authentic than the 1886 bridge topper in the Allegany Bridge photos.

I appreciate any help with trying to identify my piece.

Second Street Bridge
Posted July 30, 2011, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Glad to finally see some pics posted of this gorgeous span!

Thank you Mr. Hanchey!