Listed on MDOT's website is this unusual bridge which is a bit south of the nearby Trowbridge Road Bridge. Compared to Trowbridge Road, this bridge is much simpler in appearance. The bridge is still very much an attractive bridge. Architectural treatment is shown in the arrangement of rectangles on the railings, as well as the beams themselves. The railings are curved at the ends of the bridge to add to the decorative effect. The piers have fancy little concrete brackets at the top which provide a visual transition from beam to pier.
MDOT's website provides a good narrative for the history of this bridge.
This bridge has been maintained in a better fashion than the Trowbridge Road Bridge, and the railings are in decent shape. The railings are likely in better shape because of the protective white cement paint put on them. Even more recently, a repair project was undertaken for the bridge in 2007. Some of the visible work being done included expansion joint replacement and deck repair at the ends of the structure.
Information and Findings From Michigan Historic Bridge Inventory
The Derby Road Bridge was built as part of a major reconstruction of
Woodward Avenue a few blocks to the west. Woodward was among the first
improved roads in the state. Made into a corduroy road in 1817, it
extended northwest from the nascent town of Detroit to Six Mile Road.
When Pontiac was founded further to the northwest two years later, the
trip from there to Detroit took two days.
Statement of Significance
The Derby Road Bridge is eligible for the National Register as a representative product of a massive engineering project that affected developmental patterns in Detroit and associated communities to the northwest. The Derby Road Bridge is also noteworthy for its false-arch design.
Most of the grade separation structures built as part of the Grand Trunk project carried the railroad over vehicular traffic. In only a few cases did a road pass over the tracks, and most of these structures have experienced significant modifications that have damaged the integrity of their original design. The Trowbridge Road Street Bridge, also in Oakland County, is another of the rare well-preserved products of the Grand Trunk project, and it, too, is eligible for the National Register.
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