Albion has slowly been demolishing all of their old bridges. Like the rest of the country, their activities have not focused on maintenance to extend the life of bridges, but instead consists of doing nothing and then engaging in demolition and replacement. Such a strategy, in the long run costs more money and deprives Albion of a nice collection of attractive bridges. Albion once had a magnificent 1896 stone arch bridge, one of the longest in Michigan, but that has been gone for many years now. The 1896 keystone was set into the concrete of the replacement. They also demolished the unique East Erie Street Bridge. The Albion Street Bridge is the only other surviving highway bridge with any historic value in the city.
According to the National Bridge Inventory, the Eaton Street Bridge actually predated Albion Street Bridge by almost ten years, with a 1926 construction date, making it one of the oldest examples of this standard plan design remaining in Michigan. A standard plan of the very late 1920s and into the 1930s for Michigan, this bridge design included using steel stringers or girders as a structure, with a concrete veneer on the outside to create a uniform appearance, and also included detailed railings. These bridges usually had at least one bronze plaque mounted on them, and the Eaton Street Bridge was no exception, although it was gone at the time of photo-documentation. It was located on side of the eastern railing at the north end.
Sometime in 2006 this bridge was closed to traffic, obviously due to advanced structural deterioration. Albion is now working to get this bridge demolished and replaced with an ugly slab of concrete. Road salt damage and a lack of routine maintenance (cement patching, repair, etc) most likely contributed to the bridge turning into the badly damaged structure. The last posted weight limit prior to closure was 26-32-27. For the bridge to go from that fair weight limit to closure really makes one wonder if anyone was even looking at the bridge for the last few years, or if the closure was simply to make the situation look worse than it was. The bridge was demolished early Spring 2007.
This historic bridge has been demolished. This map is shown for reference purposes only.
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