This is a beam bridge that utilizes a Michigan State Highway Department standard railing design that often showed up on Michigan's Parker truss bridges of the 1920s and 1930s. Few bridges remain today with this railing design. Although an example of a common structure type, this bridge is important because of its railings, which in addition to being uncommon today, are also original and unmodified. Original Branch County Road Commission Plaques credit F. Yeager Bridge and Culvert Works as steel fabricators. The bridge is a three span structure and sits on concrete abutments and steel bent piers similar to those on Fergus Road.
While not of any outstanding historic significance, bridges like this one are more attractive than their modern replacements. Also, even as a fairly common structure type, they remain as a link to the past. This bridge is a good example of why transportation funding reform at the state and federal level is important. With current funding, it makes sense for the county to simply not maintain this bridge and then do a complete replacement. In other words, it is not sensible for them to spend money... your money... maintaining bridges, even though proper maintenance tends to cost less money in the long run. A bridge like the Narrows Road Bridge, is in decent condition, but could do with a rehabilitation project to ensure it continues to serve traffic and also retain historic integrity. The Narrows Road Bridge would have benefited from such changes in our government's transportation policy. To learn how you can help, visit Turning the Tide.
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This historic bridge has been demolished. This map is shown for reference purposes only.
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