This bridge was one of a few extremely rare concrete arch bridges in Flint. They are rare because they were built to a Luten patent. Luten arch bridges are very significant and deserve preservation. The Beach-Garland Street Bridge also had significance as a heavily skewed arch bridge. Unfortunately, Flint did not care about this, and they demolished this beautiful historic bridge.
This bridge had deteriorated severely, despite its generous 60 ton posted weight limit. The decay was mainly visible on the cantilevers for the sidewalks, which had nearly completely spalled away in spots, leaving reinforcing rods hanging out. Understandably, there were signs posted at the approaches to this bridge that say "sidewalk closed."
Flint is a city that is turning into a ghost town partly due to the decline of the auto industry. But one has to wonder that if perhaps Flint's ignorance of its attractive historic bridges such as the Beach-Garland Street Bridge, and other areas of heritage and beauty in the city has also discouraged people from wanting to live in Flint. If Flint had preserved its Luten arch bridges, it could today claim to be one of the few cities that still has a Luten arch. Preserving attractions like this arch bridge are key elements that can help to boost the success of a downtown area.
Information and Findings From Michigan Historic Bridge Inventory
west of Interstate 475, this two-span concrete bridge spans the Flint
River in central Flint. Known alternately as the Beach Garland Bridge or
the Garland Beach Street Bridge, the structure joins Beach and Garland
Streets in the central business district. The bridge has two, heavily
skewed, 80-foot, filled spandrel arches by incised lines in the
This bridge is tagged with the following special condition(s): Luten
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