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Charlton Park Road Bridge

Charlton Park Road Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: December 26, 2011
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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Charlton Park Road Over Thornapple River
Rural: Barry County, Michigan: United States
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1956 By Builder/Contractor: Gene Fewell

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Not Available or Not Applicable
Main Span Length
45 Feet (13.72 Meters)
Structure Length
134.8 Feet (41.09 Meters)
Roadway Width
26 Feet (7.92 Meters)
3 Main Span(s)
NBI Number

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)

Bridge Documentation

This Bridge No Longer Exists!

View Archived National Bridge Inventory Report - Has Additional Details and Evaluation

This bridge is slated for demolition and replacement in 2013!

View The Original Plans For This Historic Bridge

This bridge has a plaque listing a 1956 construction date and the National Bridge Inventory lists 1957, suggesting the bridge may have been started in 1956 but not completed until the year after. Either way, this bridge appears to be one of the oldest surviving pre-stressed concrete box beam bridges in Michigan. In addition, the bridge is of relatively substantial length which adds to its significance as an early example of a bridge construction technology that is today the most common material used in bridge construction today.

The original plans for this bridge also included an alternate concrete t-beam bridge that was not built.

This particular bridge rests on piers (technically bents) that have an unusually lightweight appearance. The bridge retains Michigan's attractive type R4 railings. It is only these railings and some simple abutment details that give this bridge aesthetic value. The adjacent pre-stressed box beam superstructure itself is really no different in appearance from modern bridges of this type: a slab of concrete and indeed very ugly in appearance. In this sense, the bridge also represents the twilight hours of aesthetics in bridge construction, since when Michigan discontinued the use of R4 railings in bridge construction, aesthetics in bridge design was essentially no longer a part of standard bridge construction.


Photos and Videos: Charlton Park Road Bridge

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