This bridge is one of the larger examples of a bridge that displays an uncommon railing design standard in Michigan. The design, consisting of panels of riveted vertical bars was frequently used on the small number of metal truss bridges built to Michigan State Highway Department designs. It was also used on a number of metal stringer bridges in the state, largely between 1930 and 1940. Because Michigan's far more common R4 railing standard was begun in 1932, this railing design appears to have simply been an alternative railing option that was available during the 1930s. However by the 1940s the railing appears to have no longer been used, likely abandoned in favor of the R4 standard railing.
This particular bridge retains excellent historic integrity with no noteworthy alterations to the railing or superstructure. Its railings terminate in concrete end posts that have styling similar to that used for concrete posts on bridges with the R4 standard. The bridge has steel pile bents and concrete abutments.
The county road commission wants to demolish and replace this bridge with an ugly slab of pre-stressed concrete. They have applied multiple times to receive Local Bridge Program funding from MDOT. However, MDOT seems reluctant to provide replacement funding, suggesting they feel that rehabilitation would be a better course of action. The condition of the bridge clearly suggests that rehabilitation is more appropriate, and would cost taxpayers much less money.
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