6 votes

Old Cowling Road Bridge


Photo taken by Jim Allen in November 2009


BH Photo #270205


Abandoned closed-spandrel arch bridge over Rocky River on old Cowling Road
St. Joseph County, Michigan
Bypassed by a new bridge, likely a relocated truss span, sometime before 1955 and abandoned
- William Gross
Closed-spandrel arch
Also called
Old Gross
Approximate latitude, longitude
+41.97078, -85.64954   (decimal degrees)
41°58'15" N, 85°38'58" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
16/611894/4647413 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Three Rivers West
Inventory number
BH 58793 (Bridgehunter.com ID)


Abandoned (3,940)
Arch (12,684)
Closed-spandrel arch (4,268)
Deck arch (11,919)
Michigan (1,400)
St. Joseph County, Michigan (45)
William Gross (1)

Update Log 

  • May 13, 2022: New photo from Paul Plassman
  • November 13, 2013: Added by Jim Allen



Old Cowling Road Bridge
Posted May 22, 2022, by Jason Holloway

WOW! That black and white photo is an amazing find, thank you for sharing!

I visited the bridge this past Friday, pictures taken will be on historicbridges.org soon.

Old Cowling Road Bridge
Posted May 13, 2022, by Paul Plassman


Now that I look at it, that makes sense as historic aerials going back to 1955 do show a bridge slightly downstream from the old concrete arch, but upstream from the current bridge site.

Old Cowling Road Bridge
Posted May 13, 2022, by Nathan Holth (webmaster [at] historicbridges [dot] org)


I would have to assume the 1909 truss was located on the current alignment of Cowling Road. Perhaps it was a 1909 truss that had been relocated to this spot at a much later date, accounting for the lack of logic in replacing a likely ca. 1898-1910 concrete arch in 1909.

Old Cowling Road Bridge
Posted May 13, 2022, by Paul Plassman

Weird that the 1992 NBI shows this as a 1909 steel truss...

Old Cowling Road Bridge
Posted February 10, 2021, by Samantha Isaacs (samanthaisaacs64 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Hi! I visited this bridge this past November its beautiful!

Has there been any update on preservation?

Old Cowling Road Bridge
Posted January 9, 2016, by Charley Barth (biergerman [at] yahoo [dot] com)

Great website. I have some additional information on the subject bridge and would like it added to your notes. I am a former resident of Saint Joseph county and would like some assistance in declaring that bridge a historical site. I have a newspaper article from Helen Wickman on this bridge from 1981 that lays out some amazing detail and her interest in declaring it a historical site. The bridge in question is called the "Old Gross Bridge" just west of Three Rivers. My father is one of the current owners and we would like to see this bridge preserved. It was built in 1904 by Charles R Jackson and brother at a cost of $1550.00. If your society can help me get started with some research and assistance in writing the papers it would really be a win for the community. There was a recent article on the bridge at http://www.sturgisjournal.com/article/20151027/NEWS/15102926...

My name is Charley Barth and my cell phone number is 571-238-1905. Thank you!!!