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Morseville Bridge

Burt Road Bridge

   


Morseville Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth and Rick McOmber

Bridge Documented: July 2, 2004 Through October 12, 2010
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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Burt Road (Old Alignment) Over Flint River
Location
Morseville: Saginaw County, Michigan
Structure Type
Metal 8 Panel Pin-Connected Pratt Through Truss, Fixed and Approach Spans: Metal Stringer (Multi-Beam), Fixed
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1885 By Builder/Contractor: Smith Bridge Company of Toledo, Ohio

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
1956
Main Span Length
139 Feet (42.4 Meters)
Structure Length
197 Feet (60 Meters)
Roadway Width
16 Feet (4.9 Meters)
Spans
1 Main Span(s) and 2 Approach Span(s)
NBI Number
73325H00052B010

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)

Bridge Documentation

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

This very attractive bridge managed to find its way into the Michigan State Register of Historic Places and a small interpretive plaque mentioning this is on the bridge. Many truss bridges, including ones that are demolished, are eligible for the National Register, but very few are actually put on the state register as well. Listing on the state register makes a bridge eligible to receive one of Michigan's recognizable interpretive plaques.

The bridge does have some alterations and other construction oddities. The steel grating deck is an unusual piece of work (loose and patched) and is a type of steel grating not normally used on bridges. There are i-beams with severe section loss on the steel stringer approaches for this bridge. The actual truss superstructure of the main span is in good condition though, so it would be feasible to execute a full restoration of the truss bridge.

This bridge was built by the Smith Bridge Company, as indicated by an intact plaque, in 1885. The bridge displays the portal bracing and other distinctive design appearances of the 1880s Smith Bridge Company bridges including the builder plaque design, portal bracing design, as well as the cast iron bridge shoe that accommodates a bearing and an uncommon threaded rod with nut connection for the bottom chord. The structure is a pin connected through truss. The vertical members are v-laced. The bridge originally sat on concrete filled steel caissons, but the western set has been replaced with a concrete pier. The original caissons for that end are still visible laying in the water. The eastern caissons are still in use, and appear to be in excellent condition. This bridge sits up in the air a fair amount compared to the typical Michigan truss bridge crossing. Abutments, which the approach spans sit on, are of an unusual riveted plate steel design that may not be original to the bridge. The truss bridge is 138 feet long, and the approach spans are 29 feet.

A visit to this bridge in early 2006 revealed that to the south on a new alignment a new bridge was being built. The road commission reported that they will not be tearing this historic truss bridge down, but will simply leave it abandoned. As such the bridge sets an excellent example to states like Pennsylvania which refuse to leave the old bridge standing next to the replacement. I will likely remain intact in this abandoned condition for decades, but on the other hand, it remains available and feasible to restore it so it can once again serve a functional use.

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Photos and Videos: Morseville Bridge

Available Photo Galleries and Videos

Click on a thumbnail or gallery name below to visit that particular photo gallery. If videos are available, click on a video name to view and/or download that particular video.

 
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Structure Overview
Original / Full Size Photos
A collection of overview photos that show the bridge as a whole and general areas of the bridge. For the best visual immersion and full detail, or for use as a desktop background, this gallery presents the photos for this bridge in the original digital camera resolution.
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Structure Details
Original / Full Size Photos
A collection of detail photos that document the parts, construction, and condition of the bridge. For the best visual immersion and full detail, or for use as a desktop background, this gallery presents the photos for this bridge in the original digital camera resolution.
View Photo Gallery
Structure Overview
Mobile Optimized Gallery
A collection of overview photos that show the bridge as a whole and general areas of the bridge. View the photos for this bridge in a reduced size which is useful for mobile/smartphone users, modem (dial-up) users, or those who do not wish to wait for the longer download times of the full-size photos. Alternatively, view this photo gallery using a popup slideshow viewer (great for mobile users) by clicking the link below.
Browse Gallery With Popup Viewer
View Photo Gallery
Structure Details
Mobile Optimized Gallery
A collection of detail photos that document the parts, construction, and condition of the bridge. View the photos for this bridge in a reduced size which is useful for mobile/smartphone users, modem (dial-up) users, or those who do not wish to wait for the longer download times of the full-size photos. Alternatively, view this photo gallery using a popup slideshow viewer (great for mobile users) by clicking the link below.
Browse Gallery With Popup Viewer

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