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This bridge was quite impressive because it was very large and used a lot of concrete. The approaches were dirt with concrete retaining walls around them. There were spans over Pleasant Street and Sanders Street, and a set of main spans over the railroad tracks. This bridge once had balustrades on the railings which had since been filled in with concrete, which detracted from the beauty this bridge once showed. This was an extremely wide bridge even by modern standards, and it must have been quite the sight back when it was completed. At the time this bridge was built, traffic congestion was becoming an issue, but the idea of the limited access freeway had not come around yet. As a result, roads like Fort Street were turned into very large surface roads to try to handle the large volumes of traffic, and were called superhighways. The Fort Street Viaduct was designed to hold six lanes! The demolition of this bridge represents a continuation of a trend to demolish anything of heritage value in Detroit from bridges to skyscrapers to baseball stadiums. It is unknown what cost this ignorance of heritage in Detroit will have upon the city's ability to recover from its economic troubles, given that the greater success of other major Midwestern cities, particularly Chicago, includes a strong element of heritage tourism.
Information and Findings From MDOT
The Fort Street Viaduct is eligible for the National Register as an important example of a major urban grade separation built during a formative period of highway development. It is also significant for successfully overcoming the engineering challenges presented by a project of this scale.
This historic bridge has been demolished. This map is shown for reference purposes only.
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