1 vote

Michigan Avenue Bridge (1930)


Michigan Avenue Bridge

Photo taken by Douglas Butler in April 2013


BH Photo #282950

Street View 


This original bridge was built 1930. It was knocked down by ship that broke loose of its moorings in 1959, A new lift bridge was then built, and the center span bridgetender building was changed to the current site. The bridge was rehabilitated in the 1970s and again in 1996.

Source: Robert J. Szary, Former Supervisor of Electrical & Mechanical Lift Bridge Maintenance, City of Buffalo Division of Engineering

Note: The National Bridge Inventory incorrectly lists the construction date as 1930. This probably is because the substructure of the 1930 bridge was reused.


Vertical lift bridge over Buffalo River on Michigan Avenue in Buffalo
Buffalo, Erie County, New York
Open to traffic
Built 1930; Reconstructed using original substructure 1960; Rehabilitated in 1970s and 1996
- Ernst Steel Corporation of Cheektowaga, New York (Contractor)
- McFarland-Johnson, Inc. of Binghamton, New York (Consulting Engineer)
Vertical lift, Pratt through truss lift span.
Length of largest span: 235.9 ft.
Total length: 245.7 ft.
Deck width: 37.7 ft.
Vertical clearance above deck: 14.0 ft.
Eligible for the National Register of Historic Places
Approximate latitude, longitude
+42.87139, -78.87278   (decimal degrees)
42°52'17" N, 78°52'22" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
17/673750/4748727 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Buffalo SE
Average daily traffic (as of 2015)
Inventory numbers
NY 2260450 (New York State bridge identification number)
BH 26015 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection report (as of December 2018)
Overall condition: Fair
Superstructure condition rating: Good (7 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Fair (5 out of 9)
Deck condition rating: Good (7 out of 9)
Sufficiency rating: 63.7 (out of 100)
View more at BridgeReports.com

Update Log 

  • September 13, 2022: New photo from Geoff Hubbs
  • December 27, 2020: New photos from Josh Schmid
  • November 13, 2020: New photo from Geoff Hubbs
  • July 5, 2019: New photos from Mike Niethe
  • August 7, 2016: New photos from Douglas Butler
  • July 10, 2016: New photo from Royce and Bobette Haley
  • April 26, 2016: New Street View added by Douglas Butler
  • December 3, 2015: New Street View added by Douglas Butler
  • August 2, 2015: Updated by Luke: Added builders + Images
  • May 14, 2014: New Street View added by Luke Harden
  • April 30, 2014: New photos from Douglas Butler
  • September 14, 2010: Updated by Nathan Holth: Updated construction date and bridge history.
  • June 17, 2010: New Street View added by Nathan Holth

Related Bridges 



Michigan Avenue Bridge
Posted June 17, 2010, by Nathan Holth (form3 [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

The style of the bridge looks more like a 1960 bridge rather than a 1930 bridge, based on the excessive use of rolled beams and built-up beams having those "punched hole" designs commonly seen on truss bridges of the 1960s.

Michigan Avenue Bridge
Posted June 17, 2010, by Michael Kingsley (Michael [dot] A [dot] Kingsley [at] usace [dot] army [dot] mil)

From document review, it appears that the current Michigan Avenue Bridge was built in 1960 to replace a previous lift bridge built in 1933 (source: http://www.buffaloharborbridge.com/DocumentsandReports/BHB_P...). The replacement was due to collision by a drifting ship (the Michael K. Tewksbury) on the Buffalo River on January 21, 1959 (source: http://www.steamshipjbfordhistoricalsurvey.com).