This bridge is perhaps the most technologically significant of Michigan's beautiful curved t-beam overpass bridges. There are several reasons for this. First, at least among those examples which remain with original R4 type railings and have not been widened with modern beams, this bridge which carries four lanes of traffic appears to be one of the widest surviving examples, if not the widest surviving example. As a wider example, the bridge has a slightly higher degree of technological significance. The primary source of technological significance however is the fact that the bridge's deck and superstructure follows a curve, and furthermore the bridge has super-elevation (in other words, a banked curve) to accommodate driving safety and stability needs associated with this curve. The curve may not be readily apparent to motorists driving on US-31, but anyone on Broadway Avenue can clearly see the curve as well as the super-elevation. Under the bridge, the super-elevation is clearly apparent since the piers have a stepped design such that the beams on one side of the bridge are higher than those on the other side. Thus, the Broadway Avenue Bridge is further distinguished as one of the only examples, if not the only example, of a curved t-beam with a super-elevated, curved deck as well.
Because of the aforementioned abnormalities in this particular bridge's design, this structure stands out among Michigan's remaining curved t-beam overpasses as an unusual and complex example of its type. It is further significant for its high degree of historic integrity including original railings and plaques. Furthermore, at the time of photo-documentation, this bridge did not even have modern Armco guardrails plastered onto the R4 railings like most of the remaining curved t-beams that retain original R4 railings. As bridges such as this one age and historic bridge inventories are updated, this particular bridge should be found eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places in the near future.
Michigan's curved t-beams represent some of the most beautiful limited access highway (freeway) bridge work conducted in the mid-20th Century. The use of gracefully curved t-beams combined with Michigan's uniquely decorative R4 railing standard resulted in an overpass that was aesthetically superior to overpasses being built in other states during the same period in history.
Original / Full Size Photos
|A collection of overview and detail photos. This gallery offers photos in the highest available resolution and file size in a touch-friendly popup viewer. Alternatively, Browse Without Using Viewer|
Mobile Optimized Photos
|A collection of overview and detail photos. This gallery features data-friendly, fast-loading photos in a touch-friendly popup viewer. Alternatively, Browse Without Using Viewer|
Coordinates (Latitude, Longitude):
View Bridge Location In:
© Copyright 2003-2021, HistoricBridges.org. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer: HistoricBridges.org is a volunteer group of private citizens. HistoricBridges.org is NOT a government agency, does not represent or work with any governmental agencies, nor is it in any way associated with any government agency or any non-profit organization. While we strive for accuracy in our factual content, HistoricBridges.org offers no guarantee of accuracy. Information is provided "as is" without warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied. Information could include technical inaccuracies or errors of omission. Opinions and commentary are the opinions of the respective HistoricBridges.org member who made them and do not necessarily represent the views of anyone else, including any outside photographers whose images may appear on the page in which the commentary appears. HistoricBridges.org does not bear any responsibility for any consequences resulting from the use of this or any other HistoricBridges.org information. Owners and users of bridges have the responsibility of correctly following all applicable laws, rules, and regulations, regardless of any HistoricBridges.org information.