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Coopersville and Marne Railroad Overpass

   


Coopersville and Marne Railroad Overpass

Primary Photographer(s): Randy Mulder

Bridge Documented: February 9, 2012
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Key Facts

Location
Rural: Ottawa County, Michigan
Structure Type
Metal Through Girder, Fixed
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
By Builder/Contractor: Unknown

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Not Available or Not Applicable
Main Span Length
Not Available
Structure Length
Not Available
Roadway Width
Not Available
Spans
1 Main Span(s)
NBI Number
Not Applicable

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)

Bridge Documentation

This bridge carries the Coopersville and Marne Railway, east of the tour train portion. The line dates back to 1858, before the railroad grade this bridge crosses was built.
The railroad line this bridge crosses is today abandoned and even filled in under this bridge. It was originally built in 1886 as the Muskegon, Grand Rapids and Indiana Railroad. The bridge's stone abutments have a carving in the top of the northwest abutment which seems to include the date "1888". This suggests that the stone abutments could well be original, although the plate girder span itself wouldn't necessarily be. However, it is possible that the plate girder is original, and if so it would be one of the oldest plate girder bridges known in Michigan. The plate girder has some unusual details that suggest it might be an 1888 plate girder. One example is that there is a latticed beam found under the deck, something not normally found on a plate girder.

At the time of documentation, clearing had taken place along the north side of the rail line here as part of the Musketawa Connector trail, which was later paved along this stretch that summer. It is unclear how much of the barrier berm found under the bridge today is due to this, but some of it is certainly older. The section of line under the bridge was abandoned in 1960, and I-96 was built over it just to the south. By then a connection had been made between the 2 lines just west of here, perhaps in 1946 when Grand Trunk, which then owned the Coopersville/Grand Haven line, began using the other for access to Muskegon. The rest of the rails on the Muskegon line were taken up in 1990, and most of it became the Musketawa Trail.

 

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