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Southern Street Railroad Overpass

Southern Street Railroad Overpass

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth and Rick McOmber

Bridge Documented: November 26, 2005 and 2009

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Railroad (CSX) Over Southern Street and Norfolk Southern Railroad
Dearborn: Wayne County, Michigan: United States
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1930 By Builder/Contractor: McClintic-Marshall Company of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Not Available or Not Applicable
Main Span Length
109 Feet (33.22 Meters)
Structure Length
233 Feet (71.02 Meters)
Roadway Width
Not Available
3 Main Span(s)
NBI Number
Not Applicable

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)

Bridge Documentation

This bridge ranks among the most unusual truss bridges around. First off, the bridge is a typically shaped trapezoidal truss, but in the unusual format of a continuous three span structure. A simple span bridge means that separate individual bridges connect the piers on a crossing. With a continuous span, the bridge has the appearance of a single span crossing, although there will be piers holding this span up in between abutments. Compare this to the CSX Bridge in Monroe, which is a simple three span structure. This bridge is a nine panel warren through truss, but at the west end of the bridge there is a highly unusual discrepancy in the truss configuration that makes this bridge asymmetrical. Note the two diagonals forming an 'X' at the right end in the above diagram, which "break" from the Warren truss configuration. Also note that the spacing of the piers between the abutments is not consistent. From east to west, there is a short span, long span, and medium span. The next unusual thing about this bridge is that it is really two bridge superstructures sitting right next to each other. Both bridges were built at the same time, and so each span is identical. They sit very close to each other. They both share the same substructure. Portal bracing is a large v-laced design Lattice is present on the rest of the bracing for this bridge. Lattice is also present on some diagonals and under the top chord, but the lattice is segmented by unusual angle sections. These angle sections give the bridge a rougher appearance. Another odd thing about this is the shear size of the bottom chord of this bridge. Usually the bottom chord is less massive than the top chord, but that is not the case here. Even the builder is unusual, at least here in Michigan. The plaque on the bridge credits the McClintic-Marshall Company of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with building the bridge in 1930. The company is mostly noted for building enormous bridges, this is a rare documented example of one of their smaller projects. Perhaps the only thing not unusual with this bridge is the substructure. It sits on concrete piers and abutments. The bearings on the bridge are weird however, as they are very tall.


Photos and Videos: Southern Street Railroad Overpass

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