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Frith Road Private Bridge

Frith Road Private Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: Spring 2007

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Private Drive Over Smiths Creek
Rural: St. Clair County, Michigan: United States
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
By Builder/Contractor: Groton Bridge Company of Groton, New York

Technical Facts

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

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)

Bridge Documentation

This bridge is a Pratt through truss, with five panels. Vertical members are latticed, and no v-lacing is present on the bridge. Floor beams are built-up. Originally located on Belle River Road near Capac, MI, this bridge was moved off the road some time ago to a nearby farm. Later, the bridge made another move to a private drive on Frith Road, where it remains today.

The date of construction is likely somewhere from the late 1880s through the 1890s. Based on two particular unusual details of the bridge: the design of the cast iron nuts for the connection pins, and what appears to be the remains of a missing top chord mounted builder plaque (only the base attachment to the top chord remains), this bridge was almost certainly built by the Groton Bridge Company of Groton, New York. The latticed verticals was also the preferred style for this bridge company.

The owner of this bridge undertook all the work on this bridge himself. Among other things, he built a wooden deck for the bridge. This deck is extremely well-done, and really makes this bridge feel historically correct. Have a look at the photo gallery for this bridge, and then compare it to Martin Road, which has a similar, but much older wooden deck. The owner also built home-made caissons and approaches for the bridge. The caissons were made by sinking metal barrels seven barrels deep into the ground, and then filling them with concrete. Although this bridge may not have originally been sitting on caissons, this method of concrete inside metal historically was a technique applied in period bridge construction, and is how the Frith Road Bridge and the Morseville Bridge are supported.


Photos and Videos: Frith Road Private Bridge

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