This is yet another truss bridge that was demolished, despite being on a road that does not see enough traffic to justify it. Besides, this bridge was really wide enough to be a two lane bridge, as far as dirt roads are concerned. Most dirt roads in Michigan are driven like single-lane roads. Most people drive toward the middle of the road, and slow down and move to the side when opposing traffic is present. This bridge could easily have been utilized in a similar manner. This bridge should have been restored where it stands. Restorations nearly always cost less raw money than building a new bridge. However, the county usually will receive federal funding for demolition and replacement, so it is cheaper for the county to rebuild. It is still a larger number of taxpayer dollars though. The road that this bridge was on was beautiful, and should be listed as a natural beauty road! Although the road is very straight, there are large, tall trees on either side of the road, and the tunnel-of-trees effect is very impressive, giving the feeling of a cathedral-like hall.
The Tuscola County Road Commission gives a date of 1930 for this bridge. If accurate, that makes this bridge a late example of its type. The only visual indication that this might be a later truss is a the wider roadway and heavier, and very deep (tall) trusses. Otherwise, the bridge is similar in composition and design to bridges built in Michigan from 1900 to 1910. The bridge is a Warren pony truss, and it has a jack-arch design for the deck (with corrugated steel base, concrete fill, and an asphalt wearing layer on top). It has quite large lattice guardrails, another clue that it might be a later truss bridge. The bridge sits on concrete abutments. The bridge is rusted, and does not show any original paint, although the local juvenile population appears to keep some paint on the bridge in the form of graffiti. The bridge did not show any extensive section loss that would have made rehabilitation costly or difficult. Even without rehabilitation, it was posted at a substantial 11 ton weight limit.
The replacement "bridge" is a hideous abomination that looks like a slab of concrete and not a bridge. Sadly, horrific manifestations of this exact same design increasingly plague the Michigan landscape.
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