For over a century this utilitarian structure has served a major road in the city of Port Huron. With a construction date of 1906, the structure is the oldest bridge in Port Huron. The through plate girder bridge has an extremely heavy skew. Unlike some other states like Pennsylvania and New York, Michigan does not have many plate girder highway bridges, and thus this is actually a rare structure for Michigan.
Up until the 21st Century, this bridge allowed trains to pass under it into a rail yard that originally included a ferry to carry trains over the St. Clair River to Canada. This ended long ago, and more recently the railroad line dead-ended at Black River at the yard, until the area's philanthropist organization, Acheson Ventures, bought the CSX rail yard from CSX. This rendered the bridge pointless. Worse, the bridge was in poor shape, and MDOT had as of 2010 added structural supports to make the bridge function like a multi-span bridge. By 2013, the bridge had been demolished and replaced with a hideous looking concrete box culvert that allows pedestrians (who are not claustrophobic) to utilize the rail-trail that now follows the former railroad line.
This bridge has had its historic and aesthetic integrity compromised by a redone sidewalk. This bridge once had very beautiful latticed railings for the sidewalk. When the sidewalk on the bridge was redone, the railings of the main span were replaced - with simple and ugly cyclone fencing. The approaches to the bridge still retain original pole railings, however. Sadly, HistoricBridges.org photos date to after the loss of the lattice railing.
Michigan State Highway Department plaques remain on the bridge as well. These plaques do not reference the original construction of the bridge, but instead some major rehabilitation project that occurred in 1949. No plaque is present on the bridge in regards to the original 1906 erection of this bridge.
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