No votes cast

Galien River Bridge


Galien River Bridge

looking north

Photo from old postcard


BH Photo #493912



Lost Closed-spandrel arch bridge over South Branch Galien River on Pulaski Highway (Former US 112, modern US 12)
Three Oaks, Berrien County, Michigan
Replaced by a new bridge
Closed-spandrel arch
Approximate latitude, longitude
+41.79892, -86.68947   (decimal degrees)
41°47'56" N, 86°41'22" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
16/525797/4627497 (zone/easting/northing)
Inventory number
BH 92550 (Bridgehunter.com ID)


Arch (12,266)
Berrien County, Michigan (50)
Closed-spandrel arch (4,084)
Deck arch (11,506)
Lost (25,506)
Lost 1953 (47)
Lost during 1950s (715)
Michigan (1,164)
Owned by county (20,975)
Replaced by new bridge (17,202)
Three Oaks, Michigan (1)
US 112 (3)

Update Log 

  • April 1, 2021: New photo from Geoff Hubbs


  • Geoff Hubbs


Galien River Bridge
Posted April 1, 2021, by Mike Kerkau (mjkerkau [at] gmail [dot] com)

Yeah. I initially tagged it for US 12, until I (remembering how often highways have changed routes here in Michigan) read up to double-check and found that to be the case.

Admittedly I overlooked the railroad in the background. Yeah, this has to be the spot.

Galien River Bridge
Posted April 1, 2021, by Roger Deschner (rogerdeschner [at] gmail [dot] com)

Looks like it is correct, but there's quite a bit of background and confusion.

There have been two separate alignments of US 12 in Michigan. Originally, US-12 ran on a more northern route, through Kalamazoo, Battle Creek, etc. In this part of Western Michigan, US 12 ran on Red Arrow Highway. The more southern route, following the Great Sauk Trail also known as Chicago Road and Pulaski Highway, was numbered US 112. By the 1960s, I-94 had replaced US 12 on the northern alignment, so at that time, US 112 was renumbered US 12. This still causes confusion, and a few old US 112 designations remain on municipal street signs and bridge builder's plaques. For more information, see http://michiganhighways.org/listings/HistoricUS-112.html

This is the only point where the South Branch Galien River crosses under Pulaski Highway, which is why this appears to be the correct location. At the time this bridge was replaced in 1953, the road was US 112, even though today it is called US 12.

The main branch of the Galien River crosses under this same road (original US 112, modern US 12) east of the town of Gailen, and under Red Arrow Highway (original US 12) and I-94 between New Buffalo and Union Pier. However, the historic post card specifically names it as South Branch Galien River near the town of Three Oaks. The high railroad embankment visible on this post card is still there today.

BTW, Google street view from the modern bridge shows an interesting-looking multi-span stone arch bridge on the adjacent railroad line. Something to go bridgehunting for.

Galien River Bridge
Posted April 1, 2021, by Mike Kerkau (mjkerkau [at] gmail [dot] com)

I assume the location is basically a guess?

Without having more details or info to go on from elsewhere, I can't say for sure on this one.

Assuming the description is accurate and that postcard is in fact a north-facing view, the only other locations that might seem plausible are Kruger Road (replaced 1983) or Forest Lawn Road (replaced 1991). But seeing as Pulaski Highway has been some sort of trunkline for nearly 100 years now, it'd make more sense to get a postcard for a spot on that road, I'd think. (Exception being if the structure provides an overly-picturesque image on its own - I.E. it doesn't necessarily have to be situated on a highway. I wouldn't describe this one as "overly picturesque".)

Galien River Bridge
Posted April 1, 2021, by Geoff Hubbs (geoffrey [dot] hubbs [at] att [dot] net)

Mike-Is the location correct?

Galien River Bridge
Posted April 1, 2021, by Mike Kerkau (mjkerkau [at] gmail [dot] com)

Served M-60 from July 5, 1923, and U.S. 112 from January 7, 1935, until being replaced in 1953.

The route remained 112 until 1961, when U.S. 12 was relocated to supplant nearly the entire existing route of 112, and remained M-60 until 1966, when that was scaled back to end at Niles to the east.