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Michigan Street Bridge

Leeper Bridge

Michigan Street Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: October 2006 and March 31, 2013

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Michigan Street (IN-933) Over St. Joseph River
Location
South Bend: St. Joseph County, Indiana: United States
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1914 By Builder/Contractor: Kuert Contracting Company of Indianapolis, Indiana and Engineer/Design: Charles W. Cole

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
2006
Main Span Length
120 Feet (37 Meters)
Structure Length
323 Feet (98 Meters)
Roadway Width
54.8 Feet (16.7 Meters)
Spans
3 Main Span(s)
NBI Number
11046

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)

Bridge Documentation

View Archived National Bridge Inventory Report - Has Additional Details and Evaluation

Along with the Jefferson Boulevard Bridge, these bridges are the two most ornate concrete bridges in South Bend. This bridge features a unique sandstone veneer on its exterior. The piers have a detailed design, and feature decorative pedestals that extend above the railings. The bridge has substantial architectural embellishment. When documented in 2006, the railings on the bridge were original. When re-documented in 2013, the bridge had been rehabilitated since the last visit. Changes included that the railing panels had been replaced with concrete, but retaining the same design as the original. However, the railing posts only had the concrete replacement, but the stone facing was still original. The arch barrel had been lined with a protective fabric and coated with a sealant. Also, ornate lighting was added to the railing posts at the pier points. The posts did not have lighting on them in 2006, but did have originally. The lighting on the bridge today was designed to look similar to what was originally on the bridge.

 

Information and Findings From DHPA Historic Bridge Survey

Statement of Significance

An important local engineer and official designed this city landmark. Its structural elements are fairly standard, but its aesthetic qualities are considerable. Replacement of the original deck has had a minimal effect upon the structure's architectural integrity.

Architectural Description

Charles W. Cole, the City Engineer of Mishawaka, designed this 276', three-span reinforced and filled concrete arch. The Kuert Contracting Company of Indianapolis won the contract to built it for $93, 663.

Each of the rings is elliptical, the center one spanning 116' and the outer ones 80'. Solid spandrel walls retain the earth fill which supports a 48' asphalt-over-concrete roadway between sidewalks and cut-stone rails. Originally all pedestals, parapets, rails, and spandrel-wall facing were of Bedford limestone. The pier-towers carry added decoration.

"This bridge," reported the South Bend City Engineer, "adds greatly to the attractiveness of the surroundings of Leeper Park, and is an improvement in which the whole city can take pride."

Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: Yes

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Photo Galleries and Videos: Michigan Street Bridge

 
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Maps and Links: Michigan Street Bridge

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