Although this bridge's structure type, a steel stringer bridge, is nothing remarkable, its beautiful, yet bizarre railings that are unlike anything seen anywhere else in Michigan make this bridge stand out as an extremely interesting and unique bridge. The bridge has relatively massive and nicely decorated concrete railings that almost make the bridge look like a concrete through girder bridge when viewed from the roadway. It is unclear why this bridge has such beautiful and non-standard detailing. Regardless however, the structure contributes positively to the beauty of the road and its rural surroundings.
The bridge's stringers are cantilevered out behind the abutments. The deck is concrete, and the abutments are also concrete with flared wingwalls.
This bridge is one of the only bridges in the entire county (and indeed the entire region when Cass County is included) with any heritage value whatsoever. This region is unlike many other areas of southern Michigan because there are so few bridges with any heritage value whatsoever. The loss of even one small bridge like this one will be quite a loss for the area's transportation heritage. Regardless of this fact, Van Buren County Road Commission has applied for the demolition and replacement of this bridge through the MDOT Local Bridge Program, with the bridge being given 1st Priority by the county. Worse, it would seem that the county has the support of MDOT. As such, the future for this one of a kind bridge is not looking good. Even though the projected 2024 average daily traffic (ADT) for this bridge is listed at 227, or half of the maximum ADT for an AASHTO Very Low Volume Road, and the bridge's current ADT is a tiny 155, both MDOT and Van Buren County seem to have it stuck in their heads that a massive two-lane slab of concrete is needed for this road. Further, the county claims that rehab would cost the same as replacement. Given the current fair condition of this bridge, this finding is extremely suspicious and calls into question the quality of the rehabilitation project that was investigated. It is likely a less expensive rehabilitation could be developed.
This historic bridge has been demolished. This map is shown for reference purposes only.
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